PEOPLE in Slaithwaite are being urged to help valley youngsters learn about their history and heritage by supporting an arts project run by the Canal & River Trust.

The trust, which is responsible for the nation’s waterways, is looking for donations to help continue an arts programme to create interpretation panels to be installed around Slaithwaite reservoir between the local school and village.

Working with artists, Bristow & Lloyd and Artworks Creative Communities, the project has been on-going throughout the summer with the local community and Two Gates primary school to develop the interpretation panels which will tell the story about the reservoir and canal history and its importance to the local community.

The project links into the trust’s £1m of improvements to the reservoir over the next two years which involves refurbishing the reservoir equipment, clearing out silted up channels and boosting bio-diversity.

Built between 1795 and 1799 by renowned canal engineer Benjamin Outram, the reservoir feeds the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

The trust aims to raise £3,000 to continue the project.

Graham Ramsden, project manager at the trust, said: “Each year the Canal & River Trust invests millions of pounds carrying out essential refurbishment of our reservoirs to ensure they are safe for the future.

“When we talked to the local community about our proposals many residents were unaware of the role of the reservoir and canal to the development of the Colne Valley.

“The local community use the footpath around the reservoir every day as it links the local school to the village, so it’s really important to tell the story of the reservoir and the history and heritage of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

“We’ve been working with the children from Two Gates primary school to create some interpretation panels on the footpath and we need local people’s help so we can continue this work in the community.”

To support the project go to or text LEARN 70007.