Festival celebrates Leigh’s canal heritage

Volunteers working hard on the canal's makeover near King Street in Leigh
Volunteers working hard on the canal's makeover near King Street in Leigh

The first ever Canal Festival to be held in Leigh is just around the corner.

The festival on the Leigh Branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal between September 11-13 is being organised in association with the Canal & River Trust, the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of the nation’s historic waterways.

The festivities start on Friday, September 11 and will include live music, a boat parade, craft stalls and a beer festival at the historic Waterside Inn.

The weekend coincides with Leigh Heritage Weekend where visitors can also enjoy a fascinating range of activities away from the canal including a guided tour of the Town Hall and Parish Church, Leigh Film Festival and the first public opening of the engine room at Spinners Mill.

Boat trips will run along the canal for visitors on Friday and Sunday and the Trust is hoping that boat owners will also bring their narrow boats to moor in the town centre and join in the festivities.

Town centre visitor moorings are available over the weekend. Boat owners can book a berth in advance with the Canal & River Trust at: enquires.northwest@canalrivertrust.org.uk.

The new landscaping work by volunteers is transforming the King Street area of the canal. Working with the Canal & River Trust alongside Groundwork, volunteers have been tidying overgrown vegetation, screening existing concrete fencing and planting new shrubs and hedging.

Canal & River Trust waterway manager, Chantelle Seaborn said: “The makeover will give a real boost for the Leigh Canal Festival. This is the first ever Canal Festival in Leigh and promises to be a fantastic weekend of celebrations. We hope the Canal Festival will create a real buzz and add to the sense of excitement being created along the waterway.”