A PROJECT has been launched to tidy up the banks of the Leeds- Liverpool Canal through Hyndburn.
Several proposals have been put forward by the Rishton Prospects Panel to improve access and make the canalside more attractive to visitors.
Panel secretary Colin Cooper said the proposals were part of a project encompassing four towns on the canal.
The £200,000 scheme, which will run until March 2005, will see a number of improvements put into place at the canalside in Rishton, Oswaldtwistle, Church and Clayton-le-Moors.
Mr Cooper said: "There are a number of schemes we are thinking of doing in Rishton. We are hoping to hold an event at the canalside on 10 May, but it is early days yet.
"There is a slipway coming off the main road down on to the canal which is very rough at the moment. We are talking to British Waterways and trying to sort out a plan to get it resurfaced. We also want to build raised flower beds, which would also be done by British Waterways.
"We will be working with Hyndburn Council to do the resurfacing of the slipway sometime in February. There is a lot still to be co-ordinated and we are hoping that some other projects will take place over the next year to 18 months."
Prospects Community Projects Manager, Mike Stapleford, added: "We have drawn up a scheme in each area and the main idea is to make the canal more attractive to local residents and more appealing to passing boats, so they will stop and come into the towns.
"We are talking of things like improving access to towpaths, putting seating in and upgrading towpaths so cyclists and disabled people can use them, and providing community art work, viewing areas and dog bins. We are also hoping to create fishing platforms in each of the towns.
"Overall it's going to cost £200,000. We have currently got funding for £50,000 and have made an application for £100,000 to the New Oppor-tunities Fair Share Fund, from which we expect to hear in the middle of February.
"We have also asked the county council for cash.''