THE DUDLEY Canal and Tunnel Trust has reopened to visitors following months of lockdown closure.

The popular attraction reopened last weekend as the Black Country was designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark in recognition of the region's region's world-class natural features and cultural heritage.

The Trust played a part in a making the bid a success and educates visitors on Dudley's geological past and pivotal role in the Industrial Revolution.

Marco Longhi, MP for Dudley North, set sail for trip around the historic tunnels and caverns before the Birmingham New Road attraction reopened to the public.

Mr Longhi said: “To be there for the official reopening of such a unique tourist attraction and to be one of the first passengers, was an absolute joy. On top of that I was over the moon to also hear that UNESCO has granted our area such a prestigious title, because of our outstanding industrial and geological heritage.

“These last few months have been a real challenge for many businesses including our world-leading tourist attractions such as the caverns. Nowhere in the world has anything like this and we should be very proud of how the trust has helped safeguard this for future generations.

“I look forward to working with the trust to help build on its potential and take full advantage of the new status for our area.”

Traci Dix-Williams, chief executive of the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust, said: “We were really pleased to welcome Marco for our reopening and to show him the changes we have made to make the attraction safe for visitors. It was helpful to discuss the future for our attraction, including the opportunity to connect with the Wren’s Nest by using our amazing links and reopening the connecting tunnel and offering a new experience and trip. I am really pleased to have Marco’s support.”

Boat trips will place take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout July, with opening days set to be extended in August.