Trent & Mersey Canal - Burslem Branch
Progress with Burslem Port, the project to reopen the old Burslem Canal branch by Middleport in Stoke-on-Trent, is delayed. After the encouraging award of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Community Investment Fund grant of £45,000, topped up with a grant from CRT of £5,000, unforeseen delays have occurred due to the need to conduct soil analysis. This is in order to ensure that the material used to fill in the canal arm after a breach in 1962 does not contain anything untoward.
Nevertheless, progress has been made towards the recording of the branch history in preparation for new interpretation signs along the line of the towpath when restored. Work on this is now scheduled to start in spring 2020 and is to be undertaken by volunteers from Burslem Port Trust’s own membership and from WRG.
Meanwhile, a major site alongside the former canal has been bought by developer Eden Valley Property, which has exciting plans for new housing. It is actively supporting the trust in its work to restore the canal following the New Strategy report published in 2018 that clearly shows the economic, social and environmental benefits of the waterway. This strategy now enjoys the support of Stoke-on-Trent City Council as well as CRT. The trust will continue to implement the action plan during 2021.