£15m Cotswold bid goes in
WILL BOATS FROM all over the canal network be able to cruise up the first ten miles of the restored Cotswold Canals in five years’ time? The answer is now in the hands of the Heritage Lottery Fund following the submission of a £15m bid by the Cotswold Canals Trust.
With work nearing completion on the isolated six miles from Stonehouse via Stro-ud to just short of Brimscombe Port – and HLF reported to be impressed by the standard of the restoration – fingers are crossed for an April go-ahead for the bid which covers the ‘missing link’ four-mile length from Stonehouse to Saul Junction on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal.
Two and a half years of work by CCT’s 40-strong team have gone into the submission, including planning: Two bridges to take the canal under the A38 main road roundabout Diverting the canal to share a river bridge under the M5
The already restored Ryeford Locks and ( below) Pike Lock, Eastington, on the ‘missing link’ covered by the new funding bid Inserting a navigable culvert through a main railway embankment Two new locks and a mile of new canal, probably to be built by volunteers
If HLF says ‘yes’ in April, an immediate start of development work should see a reopening around 2021.