Bids sought for £200,000 legacy

Canal Boat - - News -

WA­TER­WAYS GROUPS ARE be­ing in­vited to bid for fund­ing of up to £ 200,000 to sup­port their projects, as a re­sult of a be­quest left to the In­land Wa­ter­ways As­so­ci­a­tion by its for­mer honorary con­sul­tant en­gi­neer Tony Har­ri­son.

Mr Har­ri­son, who died in 2014, had served on the As­so­ci­a­tion’s Restora­tion Com­mit­tee for 20 years, chaired it for five years, and pro­vided ex­pert ad­vice from his pro­fes­sional ca­reer in hy­draulics and hy­drol­ogy to many wa­ter­way restora­tion projects. IWA’s aim is that his legacy will con­tinue his long as­so­ci­a­tion with canals and is invit­ing ap­pli­ca­tions. The suc­cess­ful bid or bids will be de­cided on the ba­sis An al­ter­na­tive route to the de­pot based on an ex­ist­ing out-of-use freight line, which wouldn’t af­fect the canal.

The only fly in the oint­ment is that the new route of the HS2 is shown cross­ing the western part of Nor­wood Tun­nel. As HS2 Ltd says: “The canal is in an ex­ist­ing tun­nel with the new route pass­ing over the top, so it should be man­age­able.” Un­for­tu­nately, as Ch­ester­field Canal Trust points out, that part of the tun­nel has been de­stroyed by coal min­ing, and is planned to be by­passed by a new canal length run­ning at ground level – so it isn’t quite so sim­ple. How­ever CCT will be meet­ing with HS2 Ltd and has “no doubt” that a so­lu­tion can be found.

Fi­nally, although to a cer­tain ex­tent all plans are up in the air fol­low­ing the EU ref­er­en­dum, the new Trans­port Sec­re­tary, Chris Grayling, has said he has “no plans to back away from” HS2. of “the max­i­mum amount of good that could be achieved for the in­land wa­ter­ways”.

Bids could be for canal restora­tion, as was the case with the ear­lier IWA lega­cies which paid for work on the Wen­dover Arm and the Droitwich Canal’s Han­bury Locks, but this is not stip­u­lated: the only con­di­tion is that they must be “con­sis­tent with IWA’s char­i­ta­ble ob­jec­tives”. In­deed, Chair­man Les Etheridge hoped they would be “of very broad scope” to re­flect Mr Har­ri­son’s in­ter­ests in ev­ery­thing from ca­noe­ing to eco­nom­ics.

Ap­pli­ca­tions are in­vited by email neil.ed­wards@ wa­ter­ways.org.uk to by 1 Oc­to­ber, with a view to mak­ing a de­ci­sion in April 2017. Ken­net friend­sofken­net@gmail.com.

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