Canal College and Heritage

We work on a range of canal-based, cultural heritage projects. These projects help create a brighter future for the people, communities and wildlife of Scotland by building life skills, connecting people with their natural environment and conserving our rich heritage.


Canal College

Canal College was a heritage skills focused employability project which helped people boost their life and work chances whilst protecting the nation’s canal heritage.  We delivered it until August 2021.

The programme helped people to:

  • Gain real practical work experience
  • Earn a variety of recognised awards and qualifications
  • Overcome barriers to work and education
  • Build confidence and self-esteem
  • Enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of working outdoors
  • Enhance their communication and social skills
  • Move forward with their lives, better skilled and equipped for the job market

The canal college training programme was available in three locations across Scotland: Falkirk, Inverness and West Dunbartonshire. It was aimed at people aged 16+ who were not in employment and who were looking to progress into a job, further education or training.

During the programme, participants undertook a wide range of practical projects helping conserve and enhance the built, natural and cultural heritage of three of Scotland's 200-year-old canals: the Forth & Clyde, Union and Caledonian canals.

Topics include:

  • Canalside archaeology
  • Forestry and conservation
  • Canalside maintenance and engineering
  • Stone carving and stone repair
  • Pathwork and woodwork
  • Management of vegetation and invasive species

Find out more

Canal cultural heritage

Did you know the entire canal network in Scotland is designated a scheduled ancient monument? Our canals play an important part in Scotland’s history and are over 200 years old. To help protect and conserve them, we run three projects:

  • Canal Works – working with volunteers to care for the historic canal environment
  • Canal School – inspiring young people about our canal history
  • Canal Life – engaging people with the cultural heritage of the canals

Find out more about these projects and how you can get involved.

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