Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009

New lock project officially open

The first part of a 100m project to regenerate Lincolnshire's waterways has been officially opened.

The Boston Lock Link is the first part of the Fens Waterways Link and allows people to sail from Lincoln through Boston to Cambridgeshire.

Two 8.5-tonne steel gates installed at the new Black Sluice lock in Boston will act as a flood defence.

Television wildlife presenter Michaela Strachan officially opened the new lock on Friday morning.

Benefits brought

The first flotilla of boats sailed along the waterway to mark completion of the first phase of the Environment Agency's plan to connect Lincolnshire with the other cathedral cities of Peterborough and Ely.

Andy Jee of Lincolnshire Waterways Partnership - a team made up of British Waterways, the Environment Agency and Lincolnshire County Council - said the project would bring benefits to the area.

"One of the major areas of concern for the Environment Agency is flood risk management. We also want to bring tourism and economic benefits to the area and British Waterways wants to get more people onto the water."

When complete, The Fens Waterways Link will be the biggest waterway enhancement project in Europe and will open up 240km (149 miles) of waterway, 80km (50 miles) of new waterway and provide increased access to 160km (100 miles).



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