Seasonal Diary

Foxton Locks - exciting news

(March 18, 2014)

Foxton Locks in Leicestershire secures funding boost from Arts Council


Foxton Locks, the Leicestershire visitor attraction with one of the largest flight of staircase locks on the English canal system, has successfully won a major Arts Council funding bid. The Arts Council Renaissance Strategic Support Fund will contribute to a total project budget of £193,000 that will support a major 'Revealing the Treasures of Foxton Locks' reinterpretation project. The project will increase the number of visitors to the site and Foxton Canal Museum, as well as boosting ticket revenues and visitor spend.

The 'Revealing the Treasures of Foxton Locks' project will include a new interpretation strategy with trails, guides and audio and digital enhancements, an interactive website portal, improvements to and full re-curation of Foxton Canal Museum, interpretation panels installed at key sites with QR and ER code links, the creation of a 3D digital model of the boat lift, as well as the installation of a local wifi network.

The Arts Council bid was led by Leicester Shire Promotions with support from The Canal and River Trust, Foxton Inclined Plane Trust, Foxton Canal Museum, Leicestershire County Council and Harborough District Council.

The Foxton Locks project forms part of the 'Blueprint for Tourism' proposed by Leicester Shire Promotions for the Harborough district. The Blueprint is being delivered by Harborough Promotions, the local public and private sector tourism partnership, alongside plans to increase tourism to Lutterworth by focusing on the promotion of the heritage of Wycliffe and Whittle, and to produce a new visitor guide for visitors to Harborough.

Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions said: “An opportunity has been identified to grow the economic impact of visitors to Foxton Locks by increasing dwell time and encouraging more overnight stays. This Arts Council funding is a big boost to the recently agreed ‘digital vision’ for Foxton and will offer a more in-depth experience to visitors whilst effectively telling the story of the important Inclined Plane. The deployment of new technologies such as digital modelling, QR and ER codes will also appeal to new audiences and non-traditional museum visitors.”

James Clifton, enterprise manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “This is fantastic news for Foxton Locks and we are delighted that this money has been awarded. Foxton Locks is really popular with thousands of people coming to see the locks every year. This funding will help us bring its history alive in a fun and interactive way and hopefully show visitors why the locks are so special.”

Councillor Blake Pain Leader of Harborough District Council said: "News of this funding is extremely exciting. Foxton Locks is a real jewel in the district and anything that improves the already excellent tourism offer is to be welcomed."

Steve Bowyer, Chairman of the Foxton Inclined Plane Trust, was delighted: “This funding will enable us to make great improvements to the Foxton Locks site and museum with a particular focus on a major piece of our Victorian industrial heritage, the unique Foxton Inclined Plane Boat Lift. Whilst ideally we would like to rebuild the boat lift, the use of digital technology will be a fantastic way of improving the understanding of the role the boat lift played in the history of the site and surrounding waterways.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: "I'm pleased that the Arts Council's investment in this project will support the re-telling of Foxton Locks' industrial history through the use of creative and digital technology. I look forward to seeing how these digital developments capture the interest and imagination of new visitors to the site."

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