1920’s – Present Day
In the 1920’s, Bridgewater Collieries were sold to Manchester Collieries which was nationalised in 1948. Similarly, in 1923, a new company was formed to acquire the estate owned by the Ellesmere family in Worsley and other parts. This company became known as Bridgewater Estates Ltd, and was subsequently purchased by Peel in 1984.
Coincidentally, in 1987 Highams Ltd acquired a majority shareholding of the Manchester Ship Canal Company, later the shares held by Highams were transferred to Peel and in 1994 the Manchester Ship Canal Company became a wholly owned subsidiary of The Peel Group. In 2004, ownership of the Manchester Ship Canal Company was transferred to the Peel Ports Group.
In 2009, the Bridgewater Canal was transferred out of the Peel Ports Group into the Peel Land & Property group. Under a Transport and Works Order, the statutory powers in connection with the operation of the Bridgewater Canal were transferred from the Manchester Ship Canal Company to the Bridgewater Canal Company Limited.
The Bridgewater Canal Company Limited is now the statutory body responsible for the navigation and maintenance of the Bridgewater Canal.
The Bridgewater Canal Company regularly meets with the Bridgewater Canal Trust which was formed in 1975.