£2m to re­store Brim­scombe

COTSWOLD CANALS

Canal Boat - - News -

STALLED PLANS TO re-cre­ate the former in­ter­change port at Brim­scombe Port as part of the Cotswold Canals restoration are back on track thanks to a £2m cash in­jec­tion from the Homes & Com­mu­ni­ties Agency.

The cur­rent £20m-plus Lot­tery-sup­ported Phase 1a Cotswold restoration project was orig­i­nally planned to re­open six miles from Stone­house through Stroud to Brim­scombe, how­ever the re­ces­sion put paid to hopes of money from re­de­vel­op­ment of the Port fund­ing the up­per sec­tion of the canal.

This meant the scheme was scaled-back to end be­low Hope Mill Lock, leav­ing the ex­ca­va­tion of the basin and two sec­tions of in­filled canal plus a re­in­stated road cross­ing, a new aqueduct over the River Frome and a lock restoration un­til later.

But now, thanks to the £2m fund­ing, this length is to be re­in­stated af­ter all. It con­sti­tutes part of the ‘en­abling’ in­fras­truc­ture works that will al­low de­vel­op­ers to recog­nise the value of the Port site for re­gen­er­a­tion in­clud­ing up to 150 homes, 1,000sq m of land for em­ploy­ment, ten acres of land recla­ma­tion, and a new com­mu­nity build­ing. Canal re­in­state­ment de­tails have yet to be worked out and the full re­de­vel­op­ment will take some years, but work may well be­gin be­fore the end of 2016.

Cotswold Canals Trust’s Clive Field told CB the news had “come at a mar­vel­lous time” for the restoration: hot on the heels of a Liv­ing Wa­ter­ways Award (see be­low), and just in time be­fore the im­mi­nent sub­mis­sion of a ma­jor bid to the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund for the ‘miss­ing link’ Saul to Stone­house length.

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