Cash sup­port for Cotswold link-up

COTSWOLD CANALS

Canal Boat - - News -

HOT on the heels of a £3m pledge from Stroud Dis­trict Coun­cil (see CB, May) comes the an­nounce­ment of two more ma­jor com­mit­ments to putting the Cotswold Canals back on the na­tional net­work: £700,000 from Glouces­ter­shire County Coun­cil fol­lowed by £ 625,000 from the Canal & River Trust.

Sup­port from the two lo­cal author­ity grants has al­ways been a key part of the fund­ing pack­age be­ing as­sem­bled by the Cotswold Canals Trust for Phase 1a of the restora­tion from Stone­house to Saul. How­ever CRT’s con­tri­bu­tion rep­re­sents its first fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment to the restora­tion project since its pre­de­ces­sor Bri­tish Wa­ter­ways pulled out of the part­ner­ship for the pre­vi­ous phase in 2008.

That work, which in­volved six miles of the Stroud­wa­ter Nav­i­ga­tion and Thames & Sev­ern Canal from Stone­house via Stroud to Brim­scombe is now near­ing com­ple­tion af­ter SDC took over the lead­er­ship. The cur­rent aim is to open a fur­ther four miles to link it up to the na­tional net­work at Saul Junc­tion – and the three pledges make up a large part of the ‘match fund­ing’ for a Her­itage Lot­tery Fund grant. This was first sub­mit­ted in 2015 but turned down so all these com­mit­ments im­prove the prospects for a sec­ond bid, due to be sub­mit­ted this au­tumn.

If suc­cess­ful, the whole ten-mile length could be open and con­nected to the net­work in around five years, mark­ing a ma­jor step to­wards the even­tual re­open­ing right through to the Thames at In­gle­sham.

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