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    Stories / Bringing Birmingham’s waterways back to life

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    Blog by Adam WIlletts

    Bringing Birmingham’s waterways back to life

    10 April 2019

    The Icknield Port Loop canal - the waterway which surrounds our Port Loop development in Birmingham, is an interesting stretch of water.

    It was engineered by James Brindley and opened to traffic on 6th November 1769. Birmingham businessmen believed that raw materials and manufactured goods could be better moved by canal – with records showing that the first ever boat-load of coal to arrive via the Icknield Port Loop waterway reduced costs by 50% - with coal coming in at 7 shillings per tonne. In the years after its launch, the canal was extended and reached Wolverhampton, with access to the ports of Bristol, Liverpool and Hull.

    Delivering plants and materials for the Port Loop park

    Now, in 2019, we’re bringing the waterways back into their original use, taking delivery of plants and materials which will be used in the new Port Loop park – which will open early this summer.

    Work underway at Port Loop

    It’s a realisation of our dream to use the site’s surrounding canals in the ways they were originally intended; big thanks go to the Commercial Boat Owners Association (CBOA) and our landscape consultants Talbots who’ve made it happen.

    Delivering plants and materials for the Port Loop park

    Now, we want to make even more use of the water and have asked other contractors like Talbots to share their ideas at tender stage; we’re especially keen for ideas which efficiently use the water.

    I hope it’s the first example of many uses of the water – the perfect nod to the canal’s industrial heritage.

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