Wey & Arun Canal canal centre given awards

Barge on canal The Loxwood Canal Centre was opened in April 2012

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Work on a canal that runs though Surrey and West Sussex has been recognised in two categories at a national awards ceremony.

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust's Loxwood Canal Centre, which was opened last year, received commendations at the Waterways Renaissance Awards.

Restoration of the 23-mile (37km) canal has been under way since the 1970s.

The centre was built thanks to money from a volunteer at the trust, who died in 2010.

The trust said Tim Jolly, 62, from Horsham, dedicated a large part of his life to the canal restoration project.

The awards were given in the recreation and tourism and design and construction categories at the ceremony.

The canal was built between 1813 and 1816 to link the Rivers Wey and Arun, and runs through Shalford, Bramley, Cranleigh and Dunsfold in Surrey, and Loxwood, Wisborough Green and Billingshurst in West Sussex.

It closed in 1871 because of competition from the railways.

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