The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation

Search form

Burnley Canal Festival

The Foundation supports the Burnley Canal Festival

Spotlight on Burnley Canal Festival

The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation has funded a Place Director to oversee the work of The Prince's Charities in the Places, which includes Burnley. The Charities are working with The Canal and River Trust which received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2012, to develop an ambitious programme of events based around the Burnley Canal during 2012/13.

The Prince’s Charities are members of the Steering Group and Canal Festival Planning Committee, proactively supported by Business in the Community, with particular emphasis on engaging with businesses to participate in volunteering projects and also in establishing good links with the schools to undertake a wide range of activities.

To date, 55 events have been delivered ranging from Canal themed arts and crafts; canal walks and litter picks. With over 450 children, young families, adults and almost 100 volunteers involved in the Canal Community Projects. One of the key highlights and successes for 2012 was the first-ever Burnley Canal Festival which took place during 7th and 8th Sept 2012 with over 2,500 people enjoying the two day event.

Planning is now well underway for the 2013 Canal Festival which will take place during the weekend 13th – 15th September 2013.

Case study

Burnley Canal Festival 2012

Steve Rumbelow, Chief Executive of Burnley Borough Council and Steve Garland from the Heritage Lottery Fund who jointly funded the project, declared the event open with afternoon tea served on the canal bank of the Weavers Triangle Visitors Centre, by the Inn on the Wharf. Steve has been an ardent supporter of the festival and remarked upon how important the Canal’s heritage is to Burnley. He said “ the team that put the festival together did a great job – the Leeds-Liverpool is an important asset to the town which we are only now capitalising on. The event was well supported by the Princes Charities, although I suspect quite a few of the Charities folk that attended also looked in on the Beers Festival which was taking place at the same time!”

Fifty canal boats transformed the Weavers Triangle of the town into a hive of activity which included boat trips, a tour of the historic Kennet, tours of Victoria Mill and Slater Terrace, Canoe taster sessions, live music, stalls and an outdoor cinema. All of this culminated with a ‘Boat Glow’ along the ‘straight mile’, with prizes awarded by the local Mayor, Councillor Charles Bullas, for the ‘Best Decorated’ boat and the ‘Best in Boat Glow’. A luxury Food Hamper was jointly donated by Tesco’s and The Prince’s Charities; UCFB (University & College of Football Business) donated football tickets to Burnley Football Club and Cinema tickets were donated by other generous partners. The event was brought to a close with a spectacular firework display!

The event was well received by local people; one participant described it as “The best weekend ever!” The town are very much looking forward to this year’s Canal Festival which will take place during 13-15th September 2013. Members of the Planning Committee include the Canal and River Trust who facilitate the meetings, Burnley Borough Council, local businesses, volunteers, community and voluntary groups, charities and special interest groups, including the Prince’s Charities very own ‘Place’ Coordinator for Burnley, Debbie Owen, who remarked “the event really brought out a sense of place and community spirit, there was a real buzz of excitement in the town and great expectations for next one!”

The Canal Festival has been short-listed for Waterways Renaissance Awards – the outcome of which will be known in the near future. HRH Prince Charles has been an important advocate for Burnley and its historic buildings, and as Patron of the Canal & River Trust, he wrote to the Canal Festival Planning Committee, led by Emma Bartlett praising the festival.