A million-pound project to breathe new life into rivers running through Burnley town centre has been launched
Diggers have descended on the River Brun in the town centre to kickstart work on the Urban River Enhancement (URES) project.
Kwik Fit, one of the largest automotive repair and servicing companies in the world, supported the river clean-up with volunteers from the Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) and Red Rose Recovery.
The river clean-up, led by the Ribble Rivers Trust, coincides with the beginning of the construction works being carried out on behalf of URES by William Pye Ltd.
The physical improvements within the river channel by Cow Lane car park include re-profiling the cobble setts to naturalise the river bed and provide increased habitat for river wildlife.
Victoria Dewhurst, Community Engagement Officer for the URES, said: “Local people are essential to the success of the URES and we are working to encourage and equip our communities with the skills, experience and confidence to take ownership and pride in our rivers.”
Sara Hilton, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North-West which has funded the project, said: “The Urban River Enhancement Scheme is fantastic news for Burnley and will have transformational effects for both local people and the surrounding environment.
“Ribble Rivers Trust will not only uncover the historic river and reinstate it at the heart of the town but also empower local communities to explore, enjoy and help conserve this important part of their heritage.”
Paul Waterworth, centre manager for Burnley’s Kwik Fit said: “The River Calder flows past the Kwik Fit garage in Burnley and it is a haven for wildlife but this is spoilt by all the rubbish, so we are more than glad to help to improve it.”
Jane Riley, Red Rose Recovery locality worker based in the CVS, coordinating volunteers from the recovery community: “As well as improving our environment, our volunteers get loads out of the experience. The rewards include a sense of well-being and belonging, making a positive difference and giving something back to our community.”
Details of how to get involved though volunteering, education and training can also be found at www.ures-burnley.org.uk.