Cotswold Canals link-up wins Lottery support
- Credit: Archant
The plan to open up a length of the Cotswold Canals linking the Stroud valley to the waterways network likely to go ahead
A £23m plan to open up a ten-mile length of the Cotswold Canals linking the Stroud valley to the waterways network look likely to go ahead, following the Heritage Lottery Fund’s initial decision to support the project.
Almost six miles of the former Stroudwater and Thames & Severn canals have already been restored with Lottery funding from Stonehouse through Stroud to just short of Brimscombe Port. But connecting this isolated section to the national waterways network will require the reinstatement of another four miles from Stonehouse to Saul Junction – a difficult length to reopen, as it is obstructed by the M5 motorway, the A38 main road, and a railway line.
However an application by Stroud District Council and the Cotswold Canals Trust has now secured first stage agreement by HLF, meaning that it will receive £842,000 of development funding to allow the project to move forward and be in a good position for the second stage of the HLF funding application process. If successful, this will mean the full £9m HLF grant plus matching funding from the Council, Canal Trust and other sources will allow the whole project to go ahead, enabling boats from all over the waterways network to cruise into the Cotswolds within just a few years.