A PROJECT to revitalise the River Aire has been given a further boost after The National Lottery Heritage Fund handed over £714,000.

The Environment Agency will now work on returning salmon to the river for the first time since the industrial revolution.

This funding completes a package of £2.3 million that will enable the Developing the Natural Aire (DNAire) project to reconnect the ecology of the river by building fish passes on the last four high weirs below Gargrave.

All four fish passes - at Armley, Kirkstall, Newlay and Saltaire - will be installed in summer 2020 and will allow those salmon which already get as far as Leeds to finally reach their spawning grounds upstream of Skipton.

Over the next three years it will deliver a series of events, including working with schools to teach young people in river guardianship, volunteers to clean up the banks of the river and walkers and ramblers to create a series of short self-guided trails.

Oliver Harmar, Yorkshire area director of the Environment Agency, said: "The DNAire fish passes will enable salmon and coarse fish species to migrate upstream and provide fantastic opportunities for the River Aire to be enjoyed by everyone."