River cruises through Derby city centre are set to return, after an absence of around 20 years, thanks to an innovative project co-funded by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
The first landing stage for the river cruises is due to be built close to Exeter Bridge, next door to Derby’s Council House; from where a fully accessible, electrically powered narrowboat will cruise a 2.5kilometre route along the River Derwent to the island near Darley Mills. Cruises are expected to run from summer 2019 (image of project when open, shown left).
The project is being undertaken by the Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust as the first stage of a larger, ambitious project to develop it into a major tourist attraction.
A future phase would create the ‘Derby Arm’ – a boat lift to lift boats out of the restored Derby and Sandiacre Canal, at Pride Park, so they can be brought down the River Derwent. Locks would be built to make the river accessible where there are weirs, in the Lagoon at the Derby River Gardens and at Darley Mills.
Derby City Council Cabinet are set to approve a £55,000 grant for the Canal Trust, at a meeting tomorrow (November 14), to purchase a narrowboat and build the first mooring point. The D2N2 LEP would provide £48,000 of the grant and Derby City Council, £7,000.
D2N2 – the private sector-led Partnership which promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – is making the grant money available through its larger £1.65million investment into Derby’s placemaking and public realm project, so as to provide better access to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site.
Chris Madge, Director of Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust, said: “This is an exciting project and will help to reconnect Derby to the river and an important part of its heritage. It is also a vital first step to creating hundreds of new jobs, offering a more diverse tourism product that will be recognised nationally in conjunction with the revitalised Silk Mill Museum of Making and providing a catalyst for private sector investment.
“The canal restoration will also create a sustainable method of transport, whilst enhancing and protecting the natural environment.”
D2N2’s grant funding for the proposed project is via its Local Growth Fund allocation from Government; funding used to jointly invest in infrastructure projects which directly aid its area’s economy and create jobs. For more information on D2N2’s Local Growth Fund and projects it is invested in go to web link www.d2n2lep.org/Local-Growth-Fund
Further information about the D2N2 LEP can be obtained from D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 957 8749 or email: email@example.com