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Cromford Canal’s historic bridge given a new lease of life

Work to repair and restore Browns Swing Bridge at the High Peak Junction on Cromford Canal is now complete thanks to both ourselves and the Friends of Cromford Canal.

Dating back to the 1800s, the bridge became difficult to operate due to being worn and damaged.

Its main use is by the Birdswood narrow boat trip service to take passengers along the canal.

We partly funded the repair and restoration of the bridge by contributing £47,000, with a further £15,000 raised by the Friends of the Cromford Canal. The work was carried out by Beighton Construction.

We work in partnership with the Friends of the Cromford Canal which is a charitable trust set up to promote the canal and its restoration. The charity also operates a boat trip service at the northern end of the canal with its historic narrow boat “Birdswood” which is used to generate funds for the restoration of the canal.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Environment Councillor Carolyn Renwick said:


“We are delighted to see that the historic Browns Swing Bridge at High Peak Junction on the Cromford Canal has been restored and repaired.

“This much-needed work has allowed the popular Birdswood narrow boat trip service to fully resume its journeys along the canal which attracts thousands of visitors a year.

“The site plays an important role in helping us attract more visitors, encourage more staycations and increase visitor spend in the county as well as being a much-loved area for locals.”

We own and maintain 11 miles of canals. This includes Cromford Canal from Cromford Wharf to Ambergate, and a section at Pinxton Wharf.

The site has a wealth of industrial heritage and lies within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

David Martin, chairman of the Friends of the Cromford Canal, said:

“We are delighted once again to work in partnership with Derbyshire County Council to renovate Browns Bridge which will allow us to maximise the visitor experience on Birdswood, and will protect this historic swing bridge for many years to come.”

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