“A dream come true”, “The best news ever”, “It’s changed the future of Runcorn for ever”, that’s the view of delighted campaigners who have just seen their years of devotion to Runcorn rewarded with the news that they have at last been successful.
The plan to make Runcorn a tourist destination by making it the centre of the “Runcorn Ring”, a new narrowboat tourist route is actually going to happen.
Building starts in a year and the project will be completed in 2023.
Not only will the Runcorn Ring be a totally new destination for millions of narrowboat tourists, it will have so many added attractions such as a modern boat lift in Runcorn Town, The Brindley Theatre, Norton Priory, The Manchester Ship Canal, The Weaver Navigation and the ONLY operational “Inclined Plane” system in the UK, that some have described it as “a Disneyland for narrowboaters”.
Graham Wallace, leader of the Unlock Runcorn campaign said, “This will literally transform our town overnight. The day we open the locks we will have a queue of narrowboats lining up to go down them – all will have people who will want to spend money in the town on coffee, on food, on services and shopping. Masses of tourists will start arriving into the new station quarter coming to the town just to look at the boat lift – Anderton Boat lift in Northwich had almost quarter of a million people doing that last year alone and this will be the even better. Runcorn is going to become a destination again, like it used to be. We are building our future security on our proud past. This is the best news ever”.
The good news doesn’t stop there. This whole enterprise will be based in the community and ran by the community. It will train apprentices and employ local people wherever possible.
Local MP Derek Twigg said “This is fantastic news for the campaigners and most importantly for Runcorn. It is one of the most exciting projects I have been involved in and have been delighted, along with the Council, to have been able to help. The future suddenly looks a lot brighter!”