Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park waterways boosted by £1.75million investment to restore historic lock

London’s waterways have been given a boost this week after plans to restore Carpenters Road Lock in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park were given the green light.

The project is one of the final pieces of a ten-year programme to restore the Bow Back Rivers and preserve an important part of London’s industrial heritage.
 
The Canal & River Trust – the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of waterways, including the Bow Back Rivers that weave through the Park – is leading the £1.75 million project, which includes £680,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £100,000 from the London Legacy Development Corporation and £4,500 from the Inland Waterways Association. 
 
Carpenters Road Lock is significant from an engineering point of view, as it has the only ‘double radial lock gates’ in the country. Built in the 1930s this design includes two convex-shaped gates that lift up vertically to enable boats to pass through. When restored the lock will provide the opportunity to navigate from the waterways around the former Olympic Stadium to Waterworks River, which in turn runs south to Three Mills Lock then out to the River Thames.
 
Florence Salberter, Canal & River Trust heritage adviser, said: “We’re over the moon to have got the funding required to restore Carpenters Road Lock. This is one of the only times we’ll ever get to do a project like this in London, in terms of the investment and how it will open up the waterways for people who use them. The lock is hugely significant from a heritage point of view too, being built back in the 1930s when the waterways in this part of east London were extensively remodelled to improve flood management and boost the local economy. With the popularity these days of the adjacent River Lea, and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park becoming a new hub for London, this couldn’t be a better time for us to be able to bring it  back into use and help create a new chapter for the lock and local waterways.”
 
Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “The waterways of East London are an incredibly important part of the capital’s industrial heritage, and we are delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to support the restoration of this historic lock. Opening up the Bow Back Rivers will be a significant part of the Olympic legacy, and one we are proud to be a part of.”
 
Paul Brickell, Executive Director of Regeneration and Community Partnerships at the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “Restoring Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s waterways is a key part of the London 2012 Games legacy. Carpenters Lock encapsulates the historical importance of the Park’s river and canals in the industrial development of east London and we hope that, once restored, the Lock will enable people not only to appreciate this heritage but also to enjoy the waterways again.” 
 
In the second half of the 20th-century, the Bow Back Rivers fell out of use and the Lock became unusable, with the last passage by boat through the lock recorded in the 1960s. The advent of the London 2012 Games saw major works bringing new life to the waterways in what is now Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
 
The project will see new radial lock gates, restoration of the lock structure and of the counter balance weights that enable the gates to open. It will also ensure that the lock plays an important role in flood prevention, with the new gates being automated to enable flood water to be distributed to channels within the Bow Back Rivers.
 
To celebrate the restoration, the Trust and partners are planning a range of events and activities, including plans for an east London canal festival, so people can learn about the history of the lock and rivers.
 
Work on the project is set to start in early 2016 and is expected to take 12 months.
 
For more information about the Canal & River Trust visit https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/
 
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Notes to editors 
For more media information contact [email protected] 020 3204 4410
 
The Canal & River Trust 
The Canal & River Trust is the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales, caring for the nation’s third largest collection of listed structures, as well as museums, archives, and hundreds of important wildlife sites. We believe that living waterways transform places and enrich lives and our role is to make sure there is always a place on your doorstep where you can escape the pressures of everyday life, stretch your legs and simply feel closer to nature. www.canalrivertrust.org.uk / @CanalRiverTrust / @crtcomms
 
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
London’s newest visitor destination, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is a place unlike any other. Visitors to the Park are able to enjoy beautiful parklands and waterways, world-famous sporting venues, arts and events and spectacular views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit. As a new heart for east London, the Park will also provide new homes, jobs and a cultural and education quarter.

The London Legacy Development Corporation promotes and delivers physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area, in particular by maximising the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

For more information visit QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk follow us on Twitter @noordinarypark and like us on Facebook facebook.com/QueenElizabethOlympicPark