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Canal & River Trust backs Cotswold Canals link-up with £625,000

PUBLISHED: 15:32 04 April 2017

Saul Junction

Saul Junction

Archant

The £20m restoration of a four-mile ‘missing link’ to connect the Cotswold Canals to the rest of the national waterways network has moved forward, with the announcement of support by the Canal & River Trust

The £20m restoration of a four-mile ‘missing link’ to connect the Cotswold Canals to the rest of the national waterways network has moved another step closer to becoming a reality, with the announcement of £625,000 of support by the Canal & River Trust.

This marks a major turnaround since the Trust’s predecessor British Waterways pulled out of the Cotswold Canals restoration partnership amid tightening financial circumstances in 2008, leaving Stroud District Council to lead the successful bid for Lottery cash to open six miles of canal from Brimscombe through Stroud to Stonehouse. That length is now nearing completion, and CRT has pledged its contribution (alongside those already agreed by Stroud and Gloucestershire councils) to the ‘matching funding’ for another major Lottery bid, which aims to open the four miles from Stonehouse to Saul Junction (pictured) and put the Cotswold Canals back on the national waterways map.

Stroud’s chief executive David Hagg said the Council was: “delighted” with this “real endorsement of all the effort that has gone into restoring the canal” and that the pledge could be an important factor in securing the Heritage Lottery Fund money at the second attempt, while Cotswold Canals Trust chair Jim White credited CRT for “under the radar” management support and professional advice in recent years. CRT chief Richard Parry said the Trust was “pleased to pledge what funding we can to help unlock the significant HLF funding required”.

If the Lottery bid (due to be submitted later this year) is successful, boats could be cruising from Saul Junction through to Stroud and beyond by 2023.

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