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Canal near Stroud to be restored through lottery heritage fund

image copyrightStroud District Council
image captionA five mile section of canal has already been restored

A section of canal is to be reconnected to the national inland waterway network for the first time in 70 years after funding for the work was secured.

Cotswold Canals Trust has been awarded £8.9m of National Lottery Heritage money to restore 4.5 miles (7 km) of canal near Stroud.

It will link an already-restored five mile (8 km) stretch to the national inland waterway network.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

When finished it should allow boats to travel from Stonehouse and Stroud to Saul Junction by joining the Stroudwater Navigation to the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

image captionThe canal fell into disuse after the 1950s

Chair of trustees of the trust, Jim White, said it was "amazing news".

"Volunteers have been working for this moment since the trust was founded in 1972," he said.

"Our dream of reconnecting to the national inland waterways network is now a reality.

"As the project progresses we need many more volunteers to help us and we continue to fundraise."

The trust said the project would create 21 hectares of biodiversity land and see 30,000 trees and shrubs planted.

It also estimated an additional £5.5m per year would be spent in the local economy, and it would preserve the canal archives from the 1730s.

image copyrightStroud District Council
image captionThe scheme will link an already-restored stretch of water to the national inland waterway network

Leader of Stroud District Council, Doina Cornell, said: "I remember when I moved to the district 20 years ago people talking with enthusiasm about this canal project, and I'm so proud now of the council and all our partners who have made this dream a reality."

Stuart McLeod of The National Lottery Heritage Fund said the "ambitious" project would "improve the health and wellbeing of thousands of people in the local area through new opportunities to access outdoor activities and events, and by engaging them in training and volunteering opportunities".

The canal was formally abandoned by an Act of Parliament in 1954 and gradually became derelict.

The trust's wider aim has been to make the route from the River Severn to the River Thames fully-navigable, by also restoring the adjoining Thames and Severn Canal.

Related Topics

  • UK canals
  • Stonehouse
  • Stroud

More on this story

  • Stroudwater Navigation's 'missing mile' to be restored