Delving into depths of Union Canal with new initiative

Re-Union Canal Boats on the Union Canal

Re-Union Canal Boats on the Union Canal

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Canal enthusiasts received a boost this week with news of a £60,000 grant to help celebrate the area’s natural and cultural heritage.

The cash will be used to engage communities the length of the Union Canal from Edinburgh to Falkirk.

Re-Union Canal Boats received the Heritage Lottery Fund money for the new project, Union Canal Unlocked, which will see them work in partnership with Scottish Waterways Trust and Scottish Canals.

The initiative will provide a variety of “unique learning, training and volunteering opportunities”, say the partners.

Volunteers will undertake oral history training to gather stories and memories of the historic canal to contribute to the creation of an oral history archive.

Bringing the 200-year-old waterway bang up-to-date, collected stories and photographs will be available on a new Union Canal Unlocked smartphone app. It will be designed to open up its past, as well as identifying sights of historic and local interest.

The app, along with a colourful leaflet and heritage signage to be installed on the towpath, will encourage visitors to explore and enjoy the rich heritage of the canal.

There will be a chance for local people to get involved too, in the production of a community-inspired animated film, while there will also be a travelling community exhibition.

Working with the local communities until the completion of the project in early 2017 will be project officer Louise Gamble and heritage adviser Karen Marnie.