Cotswold Canals: putting the port back in Brimscombe
PUBLISHED: 14:56 15 January 2019
Work could start in 2020 on creating the terminus of the first phase of reopening the Cotswold Canals
Plans to reinstate the Thames & Severn Canal’s former transhipment basin at Brimscombe Port as part of a regeneration scheme have gone on show – work could start in 2020 on creating the terminus of the first phase of reopening the Cotswold Canals.
Originally part of the ‘Phase 1a’ scheme to reopen the canals from Stonehouse through Stroud to Brimscombe but dropped following the ‘credit crunch’, the plans for the Port have been revived thanks to a £2m kickstart from the Government’s Homes England body, matched by the same sum from Stroud District Council.
Before it was closed in the 1930s, filled in and used for light industry in the 1960s, the original basin would fit over 100 barges, and was used to transfer cargoes between shorter wider Severn trows and longer but narrower upper Thames barges. The reinstatement stops short of re-creating that amount of water space, but will include a basin with 26 moorings, plus an aqueduct over the River Frome, new footpath and road bridges, visitor moorings, a winding hole, and provision for continuing restoration up the Golden Valley. The development scheme will retain the historic Port Mill and Salt Store, demolish 1960s industrial units, and create 173 new homes plus waterside retail units and a community centre.
With the rest of Phase 1a now all but complete, and Lottery funding provisionally agreed for the Phase 1b connecting length to Saul Junction, boats from the rest of the network could cruise to the reinstated Port in just a few years’ time.