World Canals Awards winners announced!

Led by a panel of international experts, the World Canals Awards celebrated innovative design and cutting-edge delivery by public, private and community organisations in a range of disciplines including sustainable tourism development, regeneration, heritage management, climate change and engineering.

Organisations from around the globe submitted entries for engaging, innovative and inspirational projects taking place on and along the world’s waterways, and the winners were announced at the prestigious PBA Gala Dinner & Awards during the World Canals Conference in Inverness this September.

Four awards were up for grabs:

The Innovation Award (Sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise)

Celebrating canal-based projects around the world that are technologically groundbreaking in their field.

Winner: Eriberto Eulisse, Civiltà dell’Acqua (Water Civilization) International Centre (NGO), for ‘Exploring Canals – Venice’s Waterways’ (Italy), which developed a series of free apps in both Italian and English designed to help people discover the many wonders of Venice’s historic inland waterways. Users are able to access customised itineraries, explore the history of each canal, and navigate between hundreds of points of interest using interactive mapping.

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  • North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System – Peter Robinson, AECOM
  • Shubenacadie Waterway Marine Railway – Doug Brownrigg, Shubenacadie Canal Commission
  • Aquapuncture – Dr. Ronald E. Waterman MSc, VRB Association Region Water
  • The Kelpies – Tim Burton, SH Structures Limited

The Leadership Award (Sponsored by Loch Ness by Jacobite)

Recognising businesses, voluntary organisations or charities globally that are using the waterways to drive regeneration.

Winner: Roland Lewis, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, for ‘Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines’ (USA), which created a flexible and effective tool to create long-term, sustainable, and effective urban waterfront transformation along New York and New Jersey’s 700 miles of urbanised coastline.

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  • Journey Along the Erie Canal – John Robinson, Our Ability
  • 363-365 Bond – Rick Fuerman, Lightstone
  • Waterworks – Heidi Carey, Torfaen County Borough Council
  • Danube Propeller – Krsta Paskovic, NGO Danube Propeller

The Guardian Award (Sponsored by Historic Environment Scotland)

Celebrating outstanding work to safeguard the heritage of the world’s waterways.

Winner: Cormac McCarthy, Waterways Ireland, for ‘Traditional Heritage Boat Survey’ (Ireland) – the first-ever systematic audit of traditional heritage boats on Ireland’s inland waterways. The survey utilised a national team of boat experts, maritime archaeologists, academics and artists to capture the many historic vessels on the waterways, from iron canal boats and World War II amphibious vehicles to fine wooden sculling boats.

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  • Waterway Recovery Group Volunteers – Jenny Black, Inland Waterways Association
  • Turning Back the Clock- George McBurnie, Scottish Canals
  • Conservation of the industrial heritage complex on the Danube-Tisa-Danube canal system in Mali Stapar – Stevan Ilinčić, PWMC Vode Vojvodine
  • Waterworks – Heidi Carey, Torfaen County Borough Council

The Pioneer Award (Sponsored by Visit Inverness Loch Ness)

Acknowledging projects that are paving the way in growing tourism or creating sustainable income streams linked to the world’s canals.

Winner: Tim Burton, SH Structures Limited, for ‘The Kelpies’ (Scotland). The world’s largest equine sculptures, the colossal, 30-metre-tall Kelpies tower over a new section of the historic Forth & Clyde Canal and form the centrepieces of the £43m Helix project. The scheme, driven by a partnership of Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals and supported by an award of £25m from the Big Lottery Fund, has transformed 350 hectares of underused land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a vibrant parkland, visitor attraction and marine hub with the canal and The Kelpies at its heart. More than two million visitors from all over the world have stood in the shadow of the sculptures since their unveiling in April 2014, bringing renewed vibrancy and income to the area and boosting the local economy by an estimated £1.5m per year.

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  • Rochdale Canal & Bridgwater Basin Living Waterways Project- Galen Fulford, Biomatrix Water Solutions
  • The Montgomery Canal Triathlons- Peter Richards, Maesbury Canal Festival Committee
  • 363-365 Bond – Rick Fuerman, Lightstone
  • Danube Propeller – Krsta Paskovic, NGO Danube Propeller