British Waterways plans to bring life back to East London's Bow Back Rivers

The dream of bringing life back to London’s forgotten waterways is one step closer with the news that six new lock gates have been installed in the East End’s City Mills Lock.

The £500,000 restoration of the lock is central to the grander British Waterways scheme of regenerating London’s Bow Back Rivers.

“The Bow Back Rivers lie at the heart of London’s planned Olympic Park and we believe they could play a major part in the regeneration of this part of London,” said Mark Stephens from British Waterways.

“These rivers were constructed for barges to service local industry and we are keen to see them working again to transport construction materials as well as leisure traffic into the heart of this major regeneration area. Replacing the gates on City Mills Lock brings us one step closer to achieving this vision.”

BW is supported in its venture of bringing life back to East London’s rivers by Bellway Homes Essex and Newham Council.

Councillor Conor McAuley said: “We look forward to repeating this elsewhere. Newham has a significant number of waterways that can provide an open space balance to the significant housing areas being proposed in the Lower Lea Valley.”

BW is now in talks with planners of the 2012 Olympics about securing the extra funding needed to complete the regeneration of the rivers.