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Skipton Canal Waterfront Proposals

Craven District Council, in partnership with the Canal & River Trust is proposing plans to give the Leeds Liverpool Canal waterfront in Skipton a make-over.

canal artist's impression

The Council has appointed landscape architects Newground to develop proposals to improve the canal waterfront extending from Gawflat Bridge below Aireville Park to Belmont Bridge and including the Springs Branch.

This short but important traffic free route connects the town centre and the residential, educational and leisure services to the west of Skipton. To the north, the Springs Branch or Thanet's Canal that once provided access to local quarries is now a popular route for accessing the northern end of the High Street and Skipton Woods.


Winding through the centre of Skipton, improvements were made to the Canal environment in 1999 through a project led by British Waterways. In recent years the quality of the Canal environment has declined. High priority maintenance is undertaken by the Canal & River Trust and a volunteer 'Towpath Taskforce' undertakes smaller maintenance activities including vegetation management, painting and litter clearance.

Although still seen as a high quality environment there is a need to continue to improve the Canal waterfront to support Skipton as a good place to live and a visitor destination with an attractive waterfront which visitors expect.


The proposals presented here start from a view that the general appearance of the Canal is good but a series of small, but important improvements would improve the quality of the town centre stretch.

In addition the proposals incorporate the principles of maintaining the 'industrial feel' of the Canal and maintaining the historic character including removing unnecessary street furniture and the use of traditional materials where possible.

The proposals, which can be viewed by downloading the individual files to the right, include proposals such as widening the towpath where possible, improving the surfacing, increasing the use of stone setts and refurbishing street furniture such as bins and benches.

Consultation Feedback

The draft plans produced by Newground can be viewed by downloading the documents to the right of this page.

Craven District Council, the Canal & River Trust and Newground asked for feedback on what visitors the Canal use the area for, the current condition of the Canal environment and proposals to improve the area. The consultation has now closed.

The draft plans can also be viewed at Skipton Tourist Information Centre, in Skipton Town Hall, High Street, Skipton, where hard copies of the survey are also available.