Scottish Canals said that the work, which is due for completion in spring 2020, is part of a critical repair programne made possible thanks to funding of £5.35m awarded in 2018 by the Scottish government. This winter’s work also includes changing the operating mechanisms from hydraulic systems to electrical systems to ensure quieter, more reliable and energy-efficient operation.
The first phase of work at Fort Augustus took place last winter. It involved the replacement of lock gates 2 and the strengthening of lock gates 3 and 4, with the canal reopening to navigation in April.
“We are delighted to progress the second phase of these vital canal works after another busy season on the Caledonian Canal,” said Catherine Topley, chief executive of Scottish Canals. “These 200-year-old waterways play a vital role in both local communities, generating approximately £7 million of investment each year for the Highland economy, contributing to the marine industry; attracting tourists, visitor spend and investment; as well as stimulating job creation and business growth.
“While managing these historic assets is not without its challenges, we are committed to continuing to work with the Scottish government and our partners to ensure they continue to deliver benefits for all the people of Scotland.”