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Cotswold Canals team ‘not downhearted’ after Lottery bid rejection

The Heritage Lottery Fund this week rejected the Cotswold Canals bid for £13.6m to restore the Stroudwater canal link between Stonehouse and Saul Junction. However, leaders of the restoration say the plan is still very much alive, and they hope to continue work on the plans and submit a new bid next year. 

 “We always knew that, this being Olympics year, demands for funding would outstrip the budget available, resulting in many good bids around the country being turned down.” said Ian Edwards, Canal Project Manager at Stroud District Council. 

“However, the HLF Committee recognised the significant national heritage value of our canals and we will work closely with the Heritage Lottery Fund to submit an even stronger application in 12 months’ time. Our focus remains the delivery of Phase 1a of the regeneration project from Saul to Brimscombe Port and releasing the economic potential of the canal corridor.”

Ken Burgin, chief executive of the Cotswold Canals Trust, said he realised the HLF might want to see the progress on the existing six-mile Phase 1a restoration before they committed further funds.  “This is such an important waterways project both locally and nationally that we are confident of a positive outcome in due course. I am sure we can build on success and win funding for the vital Phase 1b Stonehouse to Saul link.”

The Stroudwater Canal on the Phase 1b section, restored with the help of Lottery money from the first award in 2007. The Cotswold Canal Partnership says it is confident that a repeated bid for funds can complete the link through to the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal at Saul Junction, making Brimscombe Port a true port again. 

Thursday 17 May  | Andrew Denny  | 10.53am, Thursday 17 May 2012

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