Work to restore Whaley Bridge’s historic transhipment warehouse and bring it back into daily use is set to commence.
Whaley Bridge Canal Group, in conjunction with the Canal and River Trust, will embark on the first stage of works this weekend.
Nev Clarke, founder of the group, said the project marked a great deal of hard work and effort from dedicated volunteers and key officers within the trust.
He said: The aim is to hold regular events inside and around the building over the next twelve months, from craft fairs, to farmers’ markets, beer festivals and performing arts events.”
The works will also see windows on the ground level repaired, woodwork restored and the crane that hoists the guillotine gate that opens the shed to canal traffic re-certificated.
The transhipment shed – or warehouse – opened at the foot of the Peak Forest Canal in 1803 and was extended in 1833.
For reasons that remain unclear, the second storey on the building was removed in 1915 when it was in the hands of the Ministry of Defence and storing gun cotton amongst other things.
It is a Grade 2* Listed Building on English Heritage’s ‘at risk’ register.
Judy Jones, heritage officer for the Trust, said: “I’m so excited to see these works being programmed in. This is a wonderful building and it’s so important that we give it the attention and recognise the place in history that it deserves.”