A NARROW boat holiday firm is to close down at the end of the season — because the owners fear the canal could be forced to close again.

Nigel Feeney, the owner of the family-run Rosewood Narrow Boats, also criticised the 'absolutely filfthy' state of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, saying parts were 'like a rubbish tip'.

The canal is set to re-open on Wednesday after six weeks of restrictions to preserve water due to record low levels of reservoirs.

However it will remain shut before 9am and after 4pm until reservoirs become more replenished.

But Mr Feeney fears the canal may face further sanctions in future.

While the 60-mile stretch from Wigan to Gargrave was closed, Mr Feeney moved his business and boats from Reedley Marina, on the Burnley and Pendle border, to Nantwich.

He said: “We are not returning. We’re staying put until the end of the season and then were leaving the industry completely.

“I have no faith in British Waterways. The threat of closure has been there since 2005 and it could happen again any year.

“I don’t feel staying in the industry is a viable option at the moment. It’s not a safe bet.”

The canal was shut after the levels of reservoir which feed the canal in East Lancashire dropped to just 10 per cent.

Mr Feeney, who has run Rosewood Narrow Boats for five years, added: "The general state of the canal is awful.

“It is like a rubbish tip. Some parts of the canal are absolutely filthy.”

Mr Feeney has had to commute from Blackburn to Nantwich four times a week while the canal has been closed.

He said: “Re-locating was a major upheaval. It is not ideal to have to transport everything there and then travel down there four times a week.

“I don’t know what I’ll do when we finish. I’ll see what comes along."

Rosewood Narrow Boats has a number of vessels which are rented out for cruises or holidays on the canal.