WORK on a £2 million scheme to improve sections of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath is “progressing well”, according to the charity spearheading the project.

As part of the initiative, more than 11 kilometres of towpath in Craven is being upgraded – including the stretch between Bradley and Kildwick.

The Canal & River Trust secured funding for the venture from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Additional cash was provided by Craven Council and the Government’s Local Growth Fund, awarded by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.

Excavation work south of Bradley has begun, while improvements to a section near Thorlby – north of the A59 – are almost complete.

Upgrades are scheduled to begin this month to the route at Broughton Road in Skipton.

The towpath is being resurfaced with a limestone material, which the trust says creates a “durable and compact surface in keeping with the rural area”.

The path is also being widened in places and there will be new information boards and signage.

Luke Edwards, project manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Work is progressing well and to budget.

“In the coming weeks people will be able to start using some of the finished sections and see a real difference in the quality of the towpath.

“We expect all construction work to be completed by mid-February 2020, which is slightly later than originally planned due to some minor alterations to the schedule and a change of access point for the works. However, we are hoping to mitigate the delays and finish as early as possible.

“In the meantime, we are making every effort to reduce inconvenience and disruption for people who use and enjoy the canal by keeping as many sections as possible accessible. People can check our website – at – for up-to-date details.”

Councillor Simon Myers, Craven Council’s lead member for Enterprising Craven, said he was delighted to see the progress of the project.

He added: “We know residents are keen to see this work completed. It will vastly improve pedestrian and cycle links through the district all year round, improving accessibility for residents and visitors.”