Volunteers sought for Kennet and Avon Canal

Crofting Pumping Station in Wiltshire The trust says support is needed for Crofton Pumping Station near Marlborough

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Volunteers are being sought to get involved with £5m of "vital work" on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The bulk of the work will take place in Wiltshire where £4m is earmarked to restore a historic building and provide urgent support to a pumping station.

Other work is planned for the canal in Berkshire, Somerset and Bristol.

The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust (KACT) said volunteers were needed to give their time, skills and resources to make these projects happen.

In Wiltshire, the trust wants to restore the Devizes Wharf building and give large-scale support for Crofton Pumping Station, near Marlborough.

Elsewhere, some £500,000 is to be spent redeveloping a visitor centre at Newbury in Berkshire.

'Stunning features'

Less money is to be spent partnering the Canal and River Trust in the redevelopment of Claverton Pumping station in Somerset.

Plans for this site include a new visitor and education centre, car park and a water taxi service, with the KACT giving £250,000 to the project.

The same amount of money could also be spent developing a visitor and education centre for the western entrance to the canal at Keynsham, near Bristol.

Chairman designate of the KACT council of trustees, Rob Dean, said: "We are looking for reliable, flexible people who enjoy working as part of a team and who think they can add value, for example, either by organising people and things, or who have experience applying for grants.

"In return, we can offer them the chance to learn new skills and gain valuable, high-quality experience and training, make new friends and also create a lasting impact on one of the most historically important and stunning features of the UK's landscape."

The Kennet and Avon Canal comprises three waterways and was built to transport goods from Bath to London.

The Kennet Navigation opened in 1723 from Newbury to Reading.

Four years later it was followed by the opening of the Avon Navigation from Bristol to Bath, and the section from Bath to Newbury opened in 1810.

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