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Recreate the world's first commercial vertical boat lifts in a fully functioning structure plus visitor centre adjacent to the Silk Mills car park

Lifting visitor numbers in Taunton

Waterside environment provides attractive locations for small businesses and the scheme links visitors to the West Somerset Railway

Lifting business & tourism in Taunton

Our Vision

Use efficient solar powered shuttles to transfer commuters & visitors from Silk Mills car park to central Taunton relieving road congestion.

Lifting sustainable transport in Taunton

To learn more, please fill out the following form



We are The Friends of the Grand Western Canal.  Link to our website here or on Logo above.

To make all this happen we need funds!  Every little helps and you can show your support for giving Taunton a real LIFT by clicking here for more details or follow the Wonderful button to add your support.  Thank you!

The thermometer shows our initial funding target of £35,000 for a full feasibility study to prove what a great scheme Park 'n Glide is and the amount raised to date (£10,500, as at Feb 2020)

Please click on it to add your support.




We also need help with some core skills in publicity, fund-raising and general promotion at shows and events.



Please contact us at

The Secretary

Wharf Cottage, Nynehead, Wellington TA21 0BJ

t.01823-666921 or

email here

Thank you for your interest

Thank you! We'll get back to you soon.

Attracting Visitors

The Tourism Alliance estimates that tourism brings almost £10bn to  South West businesses.  Most of those visitors pass Taunton, either by train or on the M5.  A major attraction in Somerset provides an additional reason to visit the South West and a reason to break the journey for those already on the way.  These photos show (clockwise): our conceptual model for a reconstructed lift at Silk Mills, the remains of the best preserved of the world's first lifts at Nynehead, an example of a similar lift attraction at Falkirk, and visitors to another section of the Grand Western, attracted by water-side activity.  Hover over each photo to learn more and click on them for links.

Sustainable Transport

The one mile journey from Silk Mills Water Station to French Weir takes 15 minutes in a solar-powered electric shuttle, delivering travellers to the centre of Taunton in a carbon-efficient transport process. The dedicated route runs through established beautiful natural surroundings and is designed for a long trouble-free life.  It has an added advantage in  upgrading and reinforcing the flood defence at the foot of Frieze Hill.

This innovative Park 'n Glide reduces traffic congestion in the west Taunton area and draws visitors into Taunton via an experience available in few other European cities.  Bicycle hire at French Weir Park provides the complete sustainable journey around town.

The electric shuttles are ideal for heading east to explore the glorious scenery of the Somerset Levels with their amazing range of wetland habitats. See link for more...

Park at Silk Mills
Take stairs or lift to station quay
Board purpose-built solar shuttle
Enjoy relaxing quiet journey to the town centre through glorious contryside
Sustainable transport
Attractin visitors
Boosting Taunton

The Silk Mills Park 'n Glide

Giving Taunton a Lift

Boosting Taunton

The Park 'n Glide scheme provides many opportunities for Taunton businesses and other attractions in the South West to grow and create local wealth. Here are some possibilities: hover over the pictures for further information and click on them for links.

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