A study is to look into new methods to revitalise and transform the river and canal system around Bath.

It has been set up by the Strategic River Group, which involves members of the local authority, The Canal & River Trust and Wessex Water.

The Water Space Study will look at ways of boosting the region’s waterways, improving the Kennet & Avon Canal and River Avon for trade and leisure, with support of research from the River Regeneration Trust.

The study will look at the diverse range of opportunities along the River Avon between Bath and Keynsham, and along the Kennet and Avon Canal between Deep Lock and Limpley Stoke Viaduct.

It will also be informed by the ongoing work of the council and the Environment Agency to investigate options for managing flood risk.

Councillor Martin Veal (Cons, Bathavon North), cabinet member for community services and chair of the strategic river group, said: “All of the project partners are keen to engage with everyone who has an interest in the river and canal within our communities, including businesses, the construction industry, landowners, sports clubs, boaters and local groups.

“This study initiates what we hope will be an exciting enhancement and transformation of how Bath uses its water spaces.”

The project partners will be working with local consultancy firm Atkins, which has experience in environmental-based river restoration work including the rejuvenation of the London 2012 Olympic Park canal network.

Mark Evans, waterways manager for the Kennet & Avon Canal at the Canal & River Trust, said: “This study will really help us to understand what people want and need from Bath’s waterways, from the needs of boating communities to the tourist trade.”

The project is due to conclude its recommendations in March 2017. Opportunities for public engagement are being planned for the summer.

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