£1m boost for Stoke
THE TRENT & MERSEY and Caldon canals in Stoke-on-Trent are to benefit from £1m of funding for improved access and facilities, as part of the City Council’s Strategic Plan to increase visitor numbers, preserve Stoke’s heritage, reduce anti-social behaviour and involve communities in improving neighbourboods.
The Canal & River Trust is working with the council to develop the programme, but improvements are likely to include new access points, boater facilities, towpath repairs and surfacing, bridge works, improvements to historic canalside buildings, seating, lighting and signage.
The plan follows on from a study supported by local waterways and community groups including the local branch of the Inland Waterways Association and the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust. As IWA’s Steve Wood put it: “We want to make it easier and more attractive for boaters to stop and explore the city, and for residents to explore the canals.”
Work is expected to begin in April 2017, for completion by the end of that year.