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Craven District Council

Skipton Canal Waterfront

Work to improve the Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath through the centre of Skipton is due to take place over the summer and autumn to improve the quality of the Canal environment in the town centre.

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Updated on: December 20th, 2019

Brewery Bridge to Gawflat Bridge (Aireville Park)

The District Council’s contractor, O’Callaghan Ltd., has been working to improve and widen this stretch of towpath. The contractor completed the base course of bitmac on Friday, 20 December with the final surface layer to be laid on Monday, December 23rd. Following this the towpath will reopen for Christmas and New Year. Minor works to complete this stretch will then take place during week beginning January 6th, 2020 although further towpath closures are not anticipated.

Canal Basin Promenade and Springs Branch

There may be a need for further closures on this stretch for snagging works during January 2020. The Canal & River Trust will advertise closures on their ‘Stoppages and Notices’ webpage


The Leeds & Liverpool Canal waterfront is a prominent feature of Skipton town centre. As a linear route the Canal, including the Canal Basin and Springs Branch, provides a short but important traffic free route connecting the town centre with residential, educational and leisure services in Skipton.

During 1998/99 improvements were made to the accessibility, signage and lighting of the Canal in the town centre through a project led by the then British Waterways Board and funded from a number of sources, facilitated by the District Council.

In recent years the quality of the Canal environment in the town centre has declined with poor surfacing, pooling water, faded signage and damaged seating. High priority maintenance is undertaken by the Canal & River Trust with a volunteer ‘Towpath Taskforce’ undertaking some maintenance and improvement activities including vegetation management, painting and litter clearance.

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

Works to be delivered

Improvements will take place in three separate sections along the Canal as shown on the Site Plan.

Download a copy of the Site Plan

Works in each section will be as follows:

A) Canal Basin

  • Replacement of existing York stone flags with new to facilitate future events and festivals;
  • New benches, bins and planters in a coordinated scheme;
  • Removal of trip hazards surrounding the statue of Fred Trueman;
  • Improved drainage.

B) Springs Branch

  • Resurfacing sections of towpath;
  • Repointing of existing areas of stone sets;
  • Refurbishment of existing benches, new bins, repairs to fencing and painting of bridges.

C) Gawflat to Belmont Bridge

  • Repairs to flags and coping stones adjacent to Victoria Mill;
  • Widening and resurfacing of towpath;
  • Refurbishment of existing benches;
  • New directional signage.


Timetable and Towpath Closures

The works will be delivered in three main sections as detailed in the table below and on the attached site plan.

Whilst the work is being carried out it will be necessary to temporarily close sections of towpath and moorings.



Earliest Start Date

Latest Finish Date


Canal Basin

Monday, 8 July 2019

Friday, 20 September 2019


Leeds & Liverpool Canal - Springs Branch

Monday, 8 July 2019

Thursday, 3 October 2019


Leeds & Liverpool Canal Gawflatt Bridge (176) to Belmont Bridge (178)

Monday, 23 September 2019

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Notices of towpath closures and mooring restrictions can also be found on the Canal & River Trust website at 

The Skipton Canal Waterfront is funded by the Employment and Housing Growth in Skipton project through York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal.

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