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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 October, 2004, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Boats lifted in canal restoration
About 60 boats are being lifted out of the Gravesend Canal Basin, in Kent, as part of a 120m regeneration project.

Disused industrial buildings currently occupy the 12 hectare site, which is located at the intersection of the River Thames and the Medway Canal.

The walls and lock-gate of the canal basin are being strengthened and restored in the project to refurbish it for recreation and tourism.

A new riverside development will also include homes and a new mini-marina.

With the improvements it will mean that people should be able to get to their boats at all times
Steve Davis, Gravesend Sailing Club
The boats are being removed from the basin one by one and will be dry-stored until the restoration work is completed, in spring 2005.

It was last cleaned out in 1963 and is now full of mud and rubbish.

Steve Davis, of the Gravesend Sailing Club, said the project would make life a lot easier for those who use the basin.

"At the moment the boats are often aground on the mud and either people cannot get out to them or they are limited as to when they can move their boats.

"With the improvements it will mean that people should be able to get to their boats at all times and we should be able to handle slightly bigger boats," he said.

The regeneration project is a joint partnership between Gravesham Borough Council and developers Countryside Properties.

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