Plan launched to bring new life to Sheffield’s historic waterways

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Sheffield’s waterways are set to get a new lease of life after a plan was agreed to help improve them.

The Sheffield Waterways Strategy aims to continue the renaissance of the city’s 150-mile network of rivers and streams.

The plan, developed by various organisations, will involve more people in looking after their local waterways and helping to improve water quality and biodiversity.

More festivals and events will take place on or beside the water to encourage people to explore the culture and history of the area and attract visitors from across the country to help boost tourism and the local economy.

The strategy will also enable the most to be made of key landmarks, such as Victoria Quays.

Tom Wild, director of the South Yorkshire Forest Partnership, was delighted the strategy had been finalised and praised those involved.

He said: “Sheffield really is a City of Rivers - our waterways powered the growth of the city, they define its landscape and give great character to the place.

“We have come a long way since the 1980s - moving from a situation where the city had turned its back on its waterways, through the dedicated efforts of volunteer groups like the Five Weirs Walk, who pioneered innovative work to realise the huge potential – to now, where our waterways really are a defining part of the city’s offer.

“Our rivers and canal really can be a unique selling point for Sheffield.”

Julie Sharman, head of enterprise at the Canal and River Trust, said: “This strategy is all about making that happen, getting more people involved with their local waterway, bringing more wildlife into the heart of our urban areas and using the waterways as a means of regenerating communities and boosting the local economy.”