More than 20 years since the Forth & Clyde Canal re-opened as part of the £83.4m Millennium Link Project the canal is set to undergo a major lock-gate refurbishment and replacement programme. Works will be prioritised and planned over the next 10 years or so to ensure the canal can continue to operate safely for the next 20 plus years.

Planning now for future replacement gates allows a variety of sustainable options and materials to be explored, including fibre reinforced plastic gates which have never been used in Scotland.

Our expert engineers, safety and inspection teams are now working along with specialised contractors, including divers to carry out works on several locks across the Forth & Clyde Canal to ensure they can operate for the season ahead.

Works are already underway to replace the gates at Lock 8, Merchiston, Falkirk after they were damaged beyond repair, as a result of a police incident where a car collided with the structure. Due to this unplanned work, unfortunately, this stretch of the canal from The Falkirk Wheel to the Kelpies, is anticipated to be closed until June 2023.

Essential works currently underway at Locks 31,32 and 36 are expected to continue into late May and will require some closures along the route to facilitate them, however we will work with our construction partners to reduce the impact to navigation as much as possible.

A programme of lock gate works will be published in due course and detail of the current works underway can be found below.

All updates

Update: 10/05/23

Gate replacement works at Lock 8, Falkirk, are well underway with the arrival of new hardwood gates on April 4th, 2023. Installation works to the top and bottom gates will commence this week. No boat navigation will be possible from The Falkirk Wheel to The Kelpies until June 2023.

Crane lifting wooden canal gate
Wooden canal gate laying on the grass

Update: 06/04/23

The second phase of the works on lock gate 36 will begin on Tuesday 11th April 2023.

Scottish Canals will now continue with Phase 2 of this project which will focus on Lock 36, Duntreath. Dewatering and essential repair works to Lock 36 will begin on April 11th, 2023, during this time there will be a planned fish rescue which will be carried out by our environmental team. In order for the works to be carried out safely the towpath will be closed from to Tuesday 11th April to Friday 26th May 22023.

A diversion route will be in place (map below). Navigation will continue to be closed for the duration of these works on the Glasgow flight.

Aerial map showing towpath diversions on Forth and Clyde canal
Aerial map showing towpath diversions

Update: 03/04/2023

Essential repair works at Locks 31 & 32, Blairdardie are now complete.

Two men in hi vis outfits in a cage and close up of lock gate

Update: 10/03/2023

A series of essential works will take place along the Lowlands Canal route over the coming months. The programme of works will allow us to carry out survey inspections, as well as some much-needed lock gate improvements to enhance the lock gates operation. Full details of the works and how it affects our network are listed below:

  • Lock dewatering for inspection (Falkirk Flight), Monday 6th March – Monday 20th March 2023. Navigation will be closed for the full duration of the works.
  • Essential lock gate sluice repair works to Lock Gates 18/19 (Castlecary)Lock Gate 20 (Wynford) and Lock Gate 2 (Carron Sea Lock). Contractors Mackenzie Construction on site Monday 13th March – Monday 27th March. Navigation will be closed for the full duration of the works, reopening in April 2023.
  • Lock dewatering / repairs 31 & 32(Glasgow flight towards Bowling at Anniesland), essential repair works carried out on gates to conclude on Sunday 30th April 2023. The second phase for lock 36 will commence on April 11th – May 26th. Navigation will be closed for the full duration of the works.
  • After a road traffic incident near Lock 8, Falkirk, gates were removed and assessed as not possible to repair. Works will now take place to refit new lock gates. No boat navigation will be possible from The Falkirk Wheel to The Kelpies until June 2023. Exact dates will be provided once available.
  • Essential survey works carried out at Lock 5, Falkirk. No boat navigation will be possible from The Falkirk Wheel to The Kelpies until June 2023. Exact dates will be provided once available.

If you have any queries regarding holiday boat bookings in these areas please email alternatively if you need more information on boat movement contact

Full for details on all our current works please visit Current and projected works schedule 22/23 – Scottish Canals

Updated 14/02/2023

Inspections by Scottish Canals have identified further need for more in-depth works at locks 31,32 & 36. (Locks 31,32 are at Blairdardie and lock 36 is Duntreath).

Scottish Canals and framework contractor MacKenzie Construction Limited require to dewater locks 31,32 & 36 to survey lock gates and lock chambers. With dewatering for surveys and inspections, an opportunity to carry out much needed lock gate improvements will be undertaken by Scottish Canals. This will help with the lock gates operation.

Dewatering requires temporary dams and over pumping of the canal to ensure water is transferred from east to west to maintain the canal environment and keep boats afloat.

Phase 1

MacKenzie Construction Limited will start works to locks 31 & 32 on Monday 27th February 2023 and we expect works to complete works on Thursday 30th March 2023.

Phase 2

Works to lock 36 will begin on Monday 13th March 2023 and are expected to be completed by Sunday 30th April 2023.

The navigation will be closed for the full duration of the works.

The towpath will remain open and needed by the contractor for access of plant, equipment and materials. Scottish Canals advise towpath use should be taken with care.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of these necessary works. For any additional information please contact


Updated 13/01/2023

Winter works 2022

November is the beginning of the winter season on our canals when staff resources move to maintenance and repair. Boat movements will be facilitated on weekdays only and with 48hours’ notice. This will allow staff resources to focus on essential maintenance tasks during the winter months. Any queries please contact our Operations Team.

Forth & Clyde and Union Canals

We will be delivering some key works on the Lowlands Canal (Union and Forth & Clyde Canals) during our winter season in 2022 to view our full works schedule please visit:
Current and projected works schedule 22/23 – Scottish Canals

  • Wet surveys for locks 31,32 & 36 (Glasgow flight) will commence at lock 31 on January 18th & 19th January 2023. These investigations will have no impact on navigation. Lock dewatering will take place on February 13th 2023 – March 3rd 2023 (no boat navigation during this period).
  • Wet surveys for locks 11 & 12 (Falkirk flight) will commence on 19th & 20th January. This investigation will have no impact on navigation. Lock dewatering will take place on March 6th 2023 March 20th (no boat navigation during this period).
    These dates are estimates and subject to change, updates will be provided.
  • Pontoon decking reinforcements will take place during the winter season. It is essential all pontoons remain clear to allow these works to progress.
  • Work will commence on the vegetation management cross the entire Lowland network this may lead to minor delays, but the towpath will remain open with site specific controls in place. 
    Updates will be sent with regards to any required localised waterway closure & path diversions during these planned works.