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Leeds partners with Canal & River Trust to conserve waterways

Jake Carter

April 21, 2021

Leeds Canal

Leeds Building Society has agreed to adopt a one-mile stretch of waterways cared for by the Canal & River Trust in the centre of Leeds.

The society is moving to a new riverside headquarters alongside the stretch of waterway that will benefit from the project.

The two-year adoption will see the first year’s contribution being made by GRAHAM, which has acted as principal contractor for the new head office in Sovereign Street.

The one-mile stretch in the centre of Leeds is located between Wellington Place footbridge and Crown Point Bridge, and includes parts of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the Aire & Calder Navigation, waterways looked after by the Canal & River Trust.

The partnership aims to maintain the historic lock gates at Granary Wharf, keep waterways clean by removing plastics and litter, and plant wildflowers and install bird boxes to help bring more wildlife to the centre of Leeds.

The trust is offering communities and businesses the chance to adopt a stretch of their local waterway; by 2025 it hopes that a quarter of the 2,000-mile-long inland waterway network will have been adopted.

Nick Young, chair of the Responsible Business Forum at Leeds Building Society, said: “We’ve put reducing our environmental impact at the heart of our head office relocation project and our new building will be net carbon neutral and is ‘A’ rated for energy efficiency.

“So, it’s fantastic to be involved in a project like this, which will not only safeguard this important green corridor but also help us to play a role in supporting our new local community.”

Richard Hand, site manager at GRAHAM, added: “As a responsible, sustainable contractor, we are committed to always protecting and enhancing biodiversity.

“Therefore, we are delighted to be working collaboratively with Leeds Building Society to help deliver lasting impact on this important urban wildlife habitat that will, undoubtedly, encourage the local community to take a keen interest in the nature that is flourishing in the city.”

Nicola Christian, business and corporate engagement partner at Canal & River Trust, explains: “Within Yorkshire alone we look after 316 miles of canals and rivers, with one million people living within 1km of their local waterway.

“Over the last 12 months, people have had a chance to spend more time locally and realise this fantastic, free resource on their doorsteps.

“Our adoption scheme is a chance for people to work in partnership with the Trust to look after a stretch of canal with friends, colleagues or neighbours.

“It is a great way to make a difference while enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits we know spending time by water brings.

“It’s great to see GRAHAM and Leeds Building Society supporting the local community with this adoption, what a wonderful way to celebrate your next office move, a gift that will encourage a workforce who spend much of their day at their desks to take a break and keep healthy.”


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