BOAT owners are planning a campaign cruise through Northwich in support of much needed restoration projects.

They say that restoring historic locks within Cheshire will create new cruising areas and bring great economic benefit to communities.

On Saturday, August 22, boats will gather below Anderton Boat Lift and cruise upstream to Northwich for a social evening in the town.

The next day, the flotilla will cruise down the River Weaver to Sutton Weaver and follow the original course of the river to Frodsham Lock, drawing attention to its current disused condition and future potential.

This section of river is no longer available to inland craft directly from the Weaver because of the closure of the lock.

Preliminary discussions over the lock have taken place between officials of the Inland Waterways Association, a national body concerned with restoration projects, and local council officials, and there is strong support to see it returning to use.

On August 26, the boaters will cruise the Trent and Mersey Canal and its tunnels to join the Bridgewater Canal to Runcorn to support the Runcorn Locks Restoration Society.

Its volunteers have a visionary plan to reconnect the Bridgewater Canal to the Manchester Ship Canal with a series of locks and boat lifts.

During the visit, the working team will brief the boaters of the latest stages in this active restoration project.

IWA representative Jim Mole said: “These abandoned structures form waterway ring links for future leisure use.

“Now, waterway space is greatly in demand and both the economic and wellbeing benefits of restored waterways are more properly appreciated.

“These are two important projects in towns that have long histories associated with inland water ways and we are delighted to support them and get them back on the cruising map.”