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Falkirk Helix wins the Lottery

Falkirk is to get another out-of-the-ordinary canal link following the long-awaited Living Landmarks lottery award.

The Falkirk Helix project is one of three to share in a £70m jackpot. The scheme will see a new link built from the Forth & Clyde to the tidal Forth estuary - long seen as the biggest obstacle to encouraging more sea-going boats onto the Forth & Clyde Canal. An unusual 'Kelpie' sculpture, pictured, is part of the design.

The news, though, is bad luck for the Cotswold Canals. The restorers were hoping for a share of the lottery winnings to reconnect the canal at Stonehouse, currently under restoration, to the main system at Saul Junction. But although the scheme got through to the final shortlist, it was not one of the three winners. (The other two winners are regeneration schemes in Cornwall and Belfast.)

There is now just one Living Landmarks award to go - the top £50m prize, which will be decided by popular vote. Two canal-related projects are in with a chance: the Black Country Urban Park, which will reopen part of the Dudley Tunnel system, and Sustrans' Connect2, which will build new bridges over dozens of waterways. They are pitted against the Eden Project and Sherwood Forest.

We'll have a full report on the Falkirk scheme in January's WW.

Wednesday 14 November  | Richard Fairhurst  | 11.00am, Wednesday 14 November 2007

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