Young people get chance to learn work skills thanks to old canal
23 October 2009
A group of waterways enthusiasts have campaigned to get work started on reinstating an old canal arm that used to supply the potteries in Middleport.
The Burslem Port project has made it its aim to “bring boats back to Burslem” and has received funding through the Renew programme.
The group has joined up with PM Training, a social enterprise with a focus on tackling worklessness among young people, to begin the clearance of a site that runs from Furlong Lane along the length of Newport Lane. The joint scheme will be able to offer 20 young people a six month training opportunity in environmental management and ground work skills.
The end result will be that the old canal arm that ran along the site will be cleared of undergrowth and rubbish and will be able to be used again as a community space. It will also allow investigation work to be carried out to see how feasible it would be to rebuild the canal along its historic route.
This project has been supported via the master planning process undertaken by Renew North Staffordshire and as a result received funding from the Renew programme.
The clearance work will be launched with a volunteer day and an opportunity for the wider community to get involved.
Councillor Brian Ward, cabinet member for regeneration said: “So much hard work has been undertaken to make this project a success and we will soon be able to see the fruits of their labours. I’m extremely pleased to have been a part of the work to date and look forward to further involvement in the future. With the historic significance of the canal systems in the city we must do all we can to preserve these wonderful waterways.”
Roger Savage, Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent branch of the Inland Waterways Association added: “I am glad that Renew has responded positively by incorporating the canal arm in to their plans. By demonstrating their faith through funding this initial stage it will open the way for future volunteers to be involved.”
Active patron of the Burslem Port Project Joan Walley MP: said “Burslem Port is an imaginative volunteer led scheme that now has the productive support of Renew.With this first step being taken, I feel sure that together they will make the exciting Burslem Port Scheme become a reality.”