Bridgewater Canal

Heritage Lottery Fund - Lottery funded

£5.5 million facelift for the Bridgewater Canal

The Bridgewater Canal in Salford has been transformed into a destination that is once again a genuine focus for local, regional and national communities.

A walk along the banks of the canal is a journey to the past and a glimpse into the future. Every stretch of the waterway has a story to tell us about human ingenuity, endurance and events that shaped both Salford and the world. This is a place of global importance, inspired by the vision of three men and the toil of hundreds of nameless heroes.

Francis Egerton, the third Duke of Bridgewater and his agent, John Gilbert were determined to build a canal which would reduce the price of transporting coal. They engaged James Brindley as an engineer for the project and the canal became the heart of industry in the area which in its heyday carried more than three million tonnes of traffic.

In early February 2014 the canal was granted funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Salford City Council, Peel Holdings and other partner organisations to revitalise the Bridgewater Canal in Salford. Since then the Salford stretch of the Bridgewater has benefited from new and upgraded towpaths, the conservation and lighting of James Brindley’s 1761 stone aqueduct at Barton, new wayfinding signs and seating along the canal, distinctive new sculptural features, and conservation works to Worsley Green Monument and James Nasmyth’s Steam Hammer (at Patricroft).

The starting point for the canal, Worsley Delph, is a place of huge historic significance and many of its features date back to the 18th century. Work to sensitively improve the appearance of the site at basin level was completed in 2019. A new multi-level viewing platform enhances public access and offers improved views across the Delph. Striking and distinctive interpretation features help to ensure that the Delph’s rich history and its role in the Industrial Revolution are fully revealed to local residents and visitors.

Find out more about the Bridgewater Canal in Salford and related events and activities.

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Bridgewater volunteers

If you enjoy working in the great outdoors, learning new skills and meeting new people, you could help maintain and improve the green spaces that border the canal. For more information about our friendly volunteering programme please email

Bridgewater in Business

If you are a local business situated within a half mile radius of the Bridgewater Canal in Salford then you can apply for a grant of up to £1,000 to theme an area of your business.

Some examples could be:

  • purchasing historical photographs for display
  • theming menus, cocktails, placemats or beer mats
  • commissioning/purchasing artworks or features that promote the canal
  • projects that promote the canal to a younger generation – themed children’s food menus/themed children’s activity packs

You can download an application form below or email us at with any questions or to return the form.

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

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