THE navigation on the Trent and Mersey Canal through Middlewich will remain closed until Thursday, as work continues to resolve a leakage issue.

Water levels in the canal, between Bridge No 174 Croxton Tank and Lock 75 at the Big Lock, were lowered on February 5 with work set to conclude on the evening of February 15.

A Canal and River Trust spokesman said: "During last year we started to experience excessive leakage through the cill at Big lock 75 in Middlewich on the Trent & Mersey Canal which, by the end of the year was leading to problems with maintaining water levels.

"We had been hoping to carry out repairs to this before Christmas but, unfortunately, this wasn’t possible. Our teams are now proposing to lower the canal level in this area on February 5 with the expectation that work will be completed and the canal back open by 15th February.

"The works will result in the teams lowering the level of the canal.

"We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Sustaining a working 200 year-old canal system occasionally requires unplanned maintenance work.

"We assure you of our view that this work is needed to ensure good cruising this year. Please bear with us, we’ll try and keep disruption to a minimum."