Family fun at Elland Bridge official opening

On Sunday 2 April 2017, Calderdale communities will come together to celebrate the official reopening of Elland Bridge, the canal and towpath.

Calderdale Council and the Canal & River Trust, who have been working together to rebuild the bridge and reopen the Calder and Hebble Navigation since the 2015 floods, are delighted to announce the details of the family fun day.

The free event will take place on and around Elland Bridge and the canal from 10am until 4pm, with the official reopening of the bridge, canal and towpath due to take place at around 11.45am.

Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:

“After the difficult time that local residents and businesses faced due to the floods, we wanted to give people of all ages the chance to come together and have a great time. The event will celebrate the completion of the new, stronger bridge for Elland and the return of boats, pedestrians and cyclists to the canal – all symbols that Elland is back on its feet. There will be something for everyone, with a real focus on showcasing local organisations.”

Graham Ramsden, Project Manager for the Canal & River Trust, added:

“Things are really coming together now, the canal has been refilled with water and we’re putting the finishing touches to the brand new towpath underneath the new bridge. The reopening event promises to be a great day, an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate all that’s great about their local community, and we can’t wait.”

Some of the things that people will be able to see and do at the event include:

  • An opportunity to get on the water with boat trips provided by Calder Navigation Society and canoe taster sessions for all ages
  • Fairground stalls
  • Entertainment provided by the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival organisers, including face painting, circus acts, magic, stilt walkers and musicians
  • Historically dressed costumed characters
  • Exploring vintage buses from Keighley Vintage Bus Museum
  • A photographic slideshow and talk hosted by Halifax Photographic Society, showing their visual story of Elland Bridge since the Boxing Day 2015 floods
  • Market stalls featuring local businesses and a range of food and drink
  • Jewellery making workshops for all ages
  • A new beer specially brewed by the nearby Barge & Barrel to mark the official opening, called ‘Celebration Ale’.
  • Performances from Karen Binns Stage School

To ensure a safe and enjoyable event, Elland Bridge, Park Road and Halifax Road (the slip road onto the A629 bypass) will be temporarily closed from 7am until 4pm on Sunday 2 April. Signed diversions will be in place.

Elland Bridge reopened for pedestrians and cyclists in January 2017, and for vehicles last month. The canal reopened last weekend.

The work to rebuild the bridge has been financed through £5.5 million from the Department for Transport flood recovery fund.

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