LANCASHIRE’S canals are enjoying a resurgence as more people opt for ‘staycations’ over holidays abroad, according to marina bosses.

The people who run cruises and cafes on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal also put the boom down to an increase in facilities along the waterway.

And they saluted British Waterways for doing a ‘good job’ in cleaning and maintaining the canal to make it more appealing to tourists.

Lesley Yates, of Riley Green Marina, also runs the Canal Boat Cruises business at the picturesque site between Chorley and Blackburn.

She said: “Sales at this period last year were 50 per cent up on the previous year and sales now are 50 per cent up on this time last year.

“We have increased our fleet by 50 per cent as well. We could probably fill the marina twice over.

“I think it’s a combination of people choosing ‘staycations’ and being more interested in culture and heritage.

"It’s good news for us.”

At the height of the Industrial Revolution, goods including coal, limestone and cotton were transported along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

But when Jason Fildes built Reedley Marina, near Burnley, in 2008, he said British Waterways told him it was the most under-used canal in the country.

With more facilities being created on the waterway, he said the future now looked a lot brighter.

He said: “There has been an increase in the number of facilities on the canal and an increase in awareness.

"The more places there are for people to visit, the more they will go and then tell their friends.

“The canal itself is better presented as well. British Waterways are doing a good job cleaning it out.

“It’s the most beautiful bit of canal in the country. Prince Charles called it the jewel in Lancashire’s crown.

“We are now full and we are looking at potentially building another small marina.

"We’re beginning to get a waiting list for that.”