THE Canal and River Trust is still hopeful for the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal to be reopened by Christmas.

A spokesman for the trust said: “Progress continues to be on programme for the breach repair work at Stanthorne.

“With the good weather over the summer, good progress has been made. The embankment repairs are complete to the underside of the canal bed level.

“The new canal wash walls are currently being constructed.

“This will be followed by the completion of the embankment to towpath level, installation of the liner and relining works.

“Some of the future works are weather dependant, but we are currently still on programme for opening the navigation by Christmas.”

The canal breach occurred back in March and caused an estimated £3million worth of damage.

For more information on the breach visit the website