Canal team gets recognition

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LINLITHGOW Union Canal Society (LUCS) made a splash last week after winning two prestigious national awards.

At the 2011 Waterways Renaisssance awards in Birmingham last Wednesday the local group was runner-up in the historic environment category and was given a commendation in the recreation and tourism categories.

Duncan McIntyre of LUCS said: “We are over the moon. This is the first time we entered these awards and it’s fantastic.

‘‘Around 10,000 people pass through Linlithgow every year and we hope to get as much visibility as we can.”

LUCS is the only canal society in the UK to have a Silver Green Tourist Award and they exhibited their green credentials in their bid entitled the Linlithgow Canal Green Tourism Project.

Judges said the LUCS project had undertaken impressive and sympathetic restoration of the old buildings at the Canal Basin. They praised the group for the museum, the only one of its kind in Scotland, and the popular tea room.

With a focus on sustainable development, the society use environment-friendly, locally sourced baking and recycle waste materials and scrap metal.

The group has also built an education centre used by schools, art groups, sewing groups and speakers’ organisations.

Recognition for LUCS in the recreation and tourism category was particularly special as it was the most hotly contested of the 11 categories.

Over the past nine years, the Waterways awards have recognised over 150 outstanding projects ranging from sustainable environmental initiatives and educational projects, to innovative engineering and historic canal structure restoration. Canal Society volunteers are pictured with their latest awards (above).