Improvements to the Rochdale Canal at Luddendenfoot

Posted: 30.08.13

Proposals to improve facilities and interpretation along the Rochdale Canal at Luddendenfoot are making good progress. Calderdale Council and Pennine Prospects, who are both supporting and funding the work, have appointed contractors and work has already started on site to improve the towpath.

From mid-September work will start on a new landscaped space with canal interpretation, right beside Boy Bridge, in a corner that was previously overgrown with scrub and unusable.

Pennine Prospects has allocated funding from the South Pennines Leader programme for interpretation works and has commissioned artist Joss Smith to design and create the new outdoor space, working closely with designers and engineers from Calderdale Council. After a nationwide competition, a panel including local representatives and canal experts chose Joss to design the scheme.

He is making a large scale Fender Knot as seen on canal boats but his version is carved out of a beautiful piece of Kilkenny limestone. Beside this will sit 3 polished limestone barges that will function as benches. The whole arrangement echoes the shape of the pool that once occupied this site.

Around the edge of the space there will be a low wall at a comfortable sitting height and shrub planting will frame the space and finish off a welcoming area that will be a valuable oasis of calm for canal users and local residents alike.

The artist spent a considerable amount of time talking to local canal historians, researching the area and consulting members of the local community before deciding on his idea. As well as Joss’s work there will be a new interpretation panel explaining the history of the area and the canal. This is being designed by a team of artists and designers from Hebden Bridge including Jane Revitt and Andy Plant.

Heather Hartwell, Secretary of Luddendenfoot Community Association said,
“It has been a pleasure to be part of the process and see the energy, dedication and skill that Joss, Jane and Andy have put in. We are delighted to see thoughtful investment in our village and believe it will help us create a thriving heart for the village around the park, the Civic Institute and the other facilities at Boy Bridge.”

Yorkshire Water United Utilities Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council National Farmers Union
South Pennines Association Lancashire County Council Pennine Heritage Kirklees Council Calderdale Council
Bradford District Council Northern Rail Natural England Environment Agency The National Trust