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12 December 2006

Work begins on Bridgewater Way in Leigh

Work has started on the Bridgewater Way regeneration of the canal waterside area between Mather Lane Bridge and Butts Bridge in Leigh.

The £8 million Bridgewater Way scheme for the whole of the Bridgewater Canal towpath was launched in Runcorn last year and a start on the Leigh length was announced in July of this year. The Bridgewater Way aims to encourage new uses to the improved towpath such as cycling, seating, better access and public information. It is planned to complete the whole 40 mile route by 2011 in time for the 250th anniversary of the historic canal’s opening.

Due to the nature of the regeneration we would like to inform members of the public that the Bridgewater Canal towpath will be temporarily closed from December until mid July between Mather Lane Bridge and Butts Bridge. Alternative pedestrian routes will be arranged during the works. This is so that essential surfacing works can be done to the canal side scheme to include landscaping alongside and improvement of access links to the towpath.

The Bridgewater Way will bring a number of benefits to the local and regional economies including an increase in over half a million visitors, a net income of £6 million to the local economies along its entire route, reduce crime and increased safety and the creation of a total of almost 250 new jobs.

Councillor John O'Neill, Wigan Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration said, “We welcome the opportunity to work with Peel on the Bridgewater Way initiative, and see great benefits to the Borough from it. It has the potential to regenerate the canal environment in Leigh leading to the creation of new employment and residential opportunities”

Mike Butterworth, Property Director of Peel said, “We are extremely pleased to announce that work has begun on this stretch of the canal. This once neglected and underused leisure facility is now on its way to once again becoming one of Wigan’s most beautiful and desirable historic attractions”.

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