This year will be the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Transport Act marking half a century of inland waterways and canalside developments.
The Canal & River Trust is a charitable organisation looking after England and Wales’s 2,000 miles of historic waterways, and it has been working in conjunction with councils to create new communities in canalside locations.
Creating a new community in Wolverhampton
One of the Trust’s most recent projects is due to complete this month at Horseley Fields, once a crane foundry site, which is included in the City of Wolverhampton’s regeneration plan. The demolition work of two derelict industrial buildings began earlier this year.
Masterplan for mixed use development
In collaboration with The Canal & River Trust, the city of Wolverhampton and Homes England have chosen the international design consultant, Arcadis, to create an ambitious masterplan. Land owned by the Trust and the City Council together with the wider Canalside Quarter South is going to be the hub of a new community on the canalside. Construction plans will include a mixed use development, whilst promoting the remaining traditional history that surrounds the waterway.
Cheryl Blount-Powell, from The Canal & River Trust, said: “We hope this lacklustre part of the city will eventually be transformed into an attractive and innovative community where people enjoy living. Our aim is to attract new residents, attract new businesses and stimulate the local economy. Canalside developments have been created successfully from Manchester to Bristol and we hope to achieve the same success in this particular part of Wolverhampton.”
Waterside living bridges the north-south divide
Matt Cobb, director at Currell New Homes, said: “There is a premium for waterside properties, but not as much as one might think. The Thames commands the biggest premium with developments such as Bow Wharf in Hackney (see main image) selling apartments for over £1m, but marinas dotted around canals across the UK offer waterside living for a lot less and in recent years have become key sites for new developments from Bristol to Leeds and Manchester.”