About The Lapal Canal Trust

  • Join us!
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    Become a member and support our regular activities.
  • We urgently need to raise funds.
    We urgently need to raise funds.
    Please donate to help us achieve the remaining funds to complete the section across the retail park before 2025.
  • Andy Street breaks ground on Whitehouse Wharf!
    Andy Street breaks ground on Whitehouse Wharf!
    The first step in preparing the route across the retail park. Read the press release here.

 

Our latest newsletter available here!

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Lapal Link April 2022 V7

Whitehouse Wharf restoration is underway!

Andy Street breaking ground on Whitehouse Wharf!

 

The Restoration of Dudley No.2 Canal, also known as Lapal Canal

Historical Background.

Our project is the restoration of an urban canal.  The Dudley No. 2 Canal was authorised by an act of parliament in 1793. The 12-mile-long canal was built from 1794 to 1798. A remarkable achievement which includes a 60 foot high embankment and a 2.2 mile long tunnel.

It was built to bypass Birmingham and take coal from the Dudley area to London. It joined the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in Selly Oak. This junction became an important industrial centre that gave rise to the Birmingham suburb of Selly Oak. The canal is one of very few remains of Selly Oak’s Industrial past and the community is very keen to retain this important part of our heritage.

Due to cost savings made during its construction, the tunnel suffered a partial collapse in 1917 and, with competition from the railways, it was not reopened. Both sides of the tunnel continued in use until the mid-50’s, when the 5 miles of canal we are restoring was abandoned.

The Lapal Canal Trust was formed in 1990 by canal and environment enthusiasts to protect the route and to champion the restoration. In 2007 Atkins completed a consultancy report, this showed that the restoration was feasible and recommended a new route over the top of the tunnel. The new route would be of more benefit to the public and less costly, the old tunnel would not meet current safety standards and expensive rebuilding would be needed. Most of the route is owned by the Parks department of Birmingham City Council and the western Leasowes section owned by Dudley City Council.