People are invited to an information event about the possibility of reopening a stretch of canal in Bilston.

An initial feasibility study into the reinstatement of the Bradley Canal from the Bradley Arm to Moorcroft Junction on the Walsall Canal has been completed with financial support from the Canal and River Trust, Inland Waterways Association, Birmingham Canals Navigation Society and Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust.

The stretch, which is approximately 1 and a half miles long and includes 9 locks, was closed in the 1950s and subsequently filled in with the exception of the bottom 2 locks and the final reach to the Walsall Canal.

The feasibility study, which identified the scale of the works necessary, found the line of the canal remains free of development, though the Bradley Lane road bridge has been lowered and so reopening the branch would require changes to either the highway or canal in this location.

It concluded: "The scheme is practical although significant funding will be required. The key benefits of the scheme will be seen in local social and economic regeneration, and recreational opportunities whilst also creating a navigation with small but significant benefits to boaters and water management."

The information event takes place at Lower Bradley Community Centre on Wallace Road on Wednesday 15 June, 2016, at 6.30pm and is being supported by Bilston East Councillor Stephen Simkins.

Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "This project could deliver a range of benefits, including improvements to the habitat for wildlife and the regeneration of the local area and the creation of a managed waterfront which can be used by local residents and boaters and attract more visitors to Wolverhampton and the Black Country.

"It's very important that local people take part in next week's event so that the Canal and River Trust's Waterways Partnership can determine whether the reinstatement of the canal would have the support of the people of Bilston and Bradley."

  • released: Thursday 9 June, 2016