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Communes along the canal

Many development projects in the canal corridor will benefit from the restoration. Key sites which will attract visitors have already been identified, and will have suitably equipped moorings to welcome visiting boats. But most of the impacts of the project will be on the land side. Reopening of the canal to navigation will act as a lever for regeneration of run-down areas or brownfield sites, and a catalyst for many local projects along the route. These pages will highlight local projects, commune by commune, and show how the dynamic builds up in the course of the project.

The 11 communes:

Marquette - Marcq-en-Barœul - Wasquehal - Croix - Tourcoing - Roubaix -
Wattrelos - Leers - Estaimpuis - Pecq - Espierre-Helchin

Marquette - town centre close to the junction with the Deule

Marcq-en-Barœul - former rope factory restored and developed as canalside public library

Wasquehal - former industrial sites to be redeveloped along the branch, close to the town centre

Croix - environmental improvements and towpath opened along former industrial sites

Tourcoing - part of the Union regeneration site on the canal's summit level: business park? or more?

Roubaix - Union regeneration site, boat harbour, former Terken brewery, quality canalside housing, and much more!

Wattrelos - 35ha Ugine-Kuhlmann brownfield site, to receive dredging spoil and then be opened as the city's largest public park, also the 'Eurozone' business park between the town and the Belgian border

Leers - will become a favourite mooring on the canal, with a characteristic lift-bridge and canalside 'guinguette'

Estaimpuis - the 'Maison du Canal' will be an attractive visitor centre with interpretation in a rural setting, the commune will also offer moorings beside the village of Saint-Léger

Pecq - has the last lock on the Escaut side of the canal, some distance from the locality, a challenge but also an opportunity

Espierres-Helchin (Spiere-Helkijn) - the Flemish gateway to the canal, an attractive village with small shops and two cafés, so close to Lille and yet already a completely different environment!



Canal en fête

The challenge is to build over one weekend (in September 2007), a chapelet of animations from the Deûle to the Escaut, from Marquette to Espierres Helchin in collaboration with the structures and resources of each of the 11 towns and villages crossed.

You are a member of a not-for-profit  association… you have an artistic, cultural or social project in mind… You have some ideas or maybe a project concerning the waterway or its bankside areas and the cultural or tourist development of the riparian communities?

Get in touch and participate in setting in motion a cross-border event  which will take place in September 2007 by registering your name in the call for projects issued by the partners of the Blue Links project.

> The call for projects
> The project form

( both documents in French)








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Site managed by Lille Metropolitan Council for the project partners:
Voies Navigables de France, Wallonian Ministry of Public Works, Nord-Pas de Calais Conseil Régional, Conseil Général du Nord, Préfecture du Nord-Pas de Calais and Artois-Picardie Water Agency