Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

New canal link to boost tourism

Narrowboats on Liverpool waterfront
The new canal link runs past Liverpool's historic buildings

A £22m project in Merseyside to link a city centre to the UK's 2,200 mile canal system has opened.

The canal link, which is one and a half miles long, runs into Liverpool past historic sites including the Liver, Cunard and Port of Liverpool buildings.

Tourism leaders hope it will generate 200,000 extra visitors a year and be worth about £1.9m to the local economy.

Boats will enter the city from the 127-mile long Leeds & Liverpool canal and travel into the heart of the city.

A spokesman for the city council said the new-look Pier Head area would be a "must-see destination",

Robin Evans, chief executive of British Waterways said the new stretch of canal was a boost to the renaissance of the nation's inland waterways.

He said: "Given that Britain's canal system was pretty much viewed as a lost cause, and was actively being filled in and maligned during the 20th Century, it's remarkable the way that the waterways have been reinvented for the 21st Century and that we're still building canals today."

Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley added: "The opening of the canal link is a significant day in the recent history of Liverpool.

"We want the new-look Pier Head to be a must-see destination for visitors to the city and the new canal will add life and vibrancy to our waterfront."


The opening is the culmination of years of planning

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