Boaters and canoeists are set to benefit from a new £80,000 pontoon at Wigan Pier.
This joint project between Canal and River Trust and the charity’s Desmond Family
Canoe Trail programme is aimed at encouraging more users of light self-powered craft to explore the historic Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
The 30m long pontoon is next to the Trust’s new office at Trencherfield Mill.
Some 20m of it has been designed for boaters to use, with 10m built at a lower level suitable for kayaks and canoes. The entire pontoon is disability-friendly.
Boaters will be able to moor on the pontoon for up to 24 hours. There is a water point available in the vicinity and in the coming months the Trust is aiming to install a waste facility and CCTV.
The Desmond Family Canoe Trail is the longest of its kind in the UK, stretching for 162 miles from Liverpool to Goole along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and Aire and Calder Navigation.
The pontoon will offer canoeists paddling the trail a convenient point to disembark and take a break at Wigan – about a quarter of the way along the route from Liverpool – and is next to the project’s canalside Wigan hub on Pottery Road, where the team runs canoeing sessions and activities for young people aged 16 to 25 years old
Trust programme manager Greg Brookes said: “We wanted to create a new hub on the 162-mile trail in Wigan on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
Wigan’s perfectly positioned for canoeists to stop, stock up and relax in. We wanted a new pontoon here to enable canoeists easy access both on to, and getting out of, the water.
“This pontoon is also an important resource for boaters who want to get to Wigan Pier and a place to moor during their visit to our office in Trencherfield Mill. As a charity we are continually looking for opportunities to improve the waterways, with help from everyone who uses them, lives on them or visits.”