Major works to upgrade a towpath on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal through an East Lancashire town centre have finished.

Improvements to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath through Burnley are now complete.

The work included widening and resurfacing a 1.2 mile stretch of the towpath, between Westgate and Yorkshire Street, and improving the access point at Manchester Road where steps were altered to incorporate an access ramp.

Cllr Scott Cunliffe, Burnley Council’s sustainable development boss, said, "The upgrading of the canal towpath has made a huge difference along this stretch of the canal and it’s great to see it completed.

“As well as a home for wildlife and nature, the canal is used and enjoyed by visitors, walkers and cyclists every day.

Lancashire Telegraph: Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham with CPC and Canal and Rivers Trust staffBurnley MP Antony Higginbotham with CPC and Canal and Rivers Trust staff

"It’s an historic and peaceful ‘green’ route through the heart of the town and these improvements will encourage more people to use it.”

Rachel Daley, project manager for the Canal and River Trust, said: “Research shows that spending time by water is good for our physical and mental health.

"These towpath improvements are important because it will make it easier for people to access the wonderful Leeds and Liverpool Canal on their doorstep.

“As a charity we’re incredibly grateful for the funding that makes these towpath improvements possible for the benefit of the local communities the canal runs through, especially as our charity’s public funding has been significantly reduced.

“It’s great to see how much local people value the canal: their support is vital so that we can continue to protect and preserve our historic waterways and avert the decline we saw last century.”

The project was delivered by the Canal and River Trust, in partnership with the council, and funded by the government’s Levelling Up fund as part of a £20 million package secured by Burnley Council.

The towpath work is part of a wider scheme to enhance links between Manchester Road railway station, the University of Lancashire (UCLan) campus and the town centre.

The project is linked to Burnley Council's £6.1m 'Town 2 Turf' project, to make major improvements to the walking route between the town centre and Burnley's football ground Turf Moor, making it a safer and more pleasant walk for pedestrians.

The overall scheme will connect the Weaver's Triangle including the new UCLan Sandygate campus, the town centre and new Pioneer Place shopping and leisure complex with Turf Moor stadium creating a wider 'regeneration corridor'.