AN extensive dredging programme has been completed, leaving the Weaver Navigation shipshape once more.

The five-month Canal and River Trust project saw a two-mile stretch deepened from Saltersford Lock to the Anderton Boat Lift.

The £850,000 project builds on previous dredging at Dutton Locks, near Acton Bridge, carving out a deeper channel from the Weaver’s confluence with the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey at Runcorn.

40,000 tonnes of silt and mud was removed, and next year the CRT plans to deepen the navigation at the confluence with the River Dane down to Hunts Lock.

Duncan Davenport, CRT customer operations manager, said: “This is an incredibly important development in maintaining the River Weaver as a navigation. Like all rivers, it silts up over time, so the job of keeping the waterway open for boats of varying sizes is a constant challenge."