£10m Cotswold Lottery grant clears first hurdle; London Boat Show gets the chop; Daventry arm doubts; Scottish Lowland canals in crisis?
Boats from the national network look set to return to a ten mile stretch of the Cotswold Canals, thanks to the provision approval of a £10m bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund by Stroud District Council and the Cotswold Canals Trust.
The funding would form the largest single part of a £23m package to reinstate the ‘Phase 1b’ section of the Stroudwater Navigation from Saul Junction on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal to Stonehouse, where it links up with the six-mile ‘Phase 1a’ section (on which restoration is already almost complete), opening up navigation through to Stroud and up the valley beyond.
The money isn’t in the bag yet: this is only the first stage of the approval process, but it does come with an immediate £842,000 of development funding, and it means that the full £10m has been earmarked for the project. Final approval will depend on detailed planning and the confirmation of another £8m of ‘match funding’ from other sources (on top of £5m already secured) – and a professional fundraiser will be employed with this aim – but basically “It’s ours to lose”, as a CCT source put it. And all being well, it could be open as soon as 2024.
Dock Lock, Eastington: boats in six years?