ENews No 10

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PRESS RELEASE RELATING TO PHASE 1B

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COTSWOLD CANALS PARTNERSHIP SHORTLISTED FOR £16 MILLION GRANT

The Cotswold Canals Partnership is one step closer to realising its ambition to restore the Cotswold Canals from Stonehouse to Saul. An application by the Partnership for £16 million to the Big Lottery Living Landmarks fund has been shortlisted for consideration. Bruce Hall, Chairman of the Cotswold Canals Trust was thrilled with the news, "this is a fantastic recognition of the passion that local people have for their canal".

A shortlist of just 23 projects from over 700 applicants has been drawn up by the funding body. If the Partnership is successful it will see Stroud re-connected to the main waterway network for the first time in 65 years, enabling boats to travel from Bristol and Gloucester right to the heart of the town and on to Brimscombe Port.

As one of the short listed organisations the Partnership has now been awarded a development grant of £250,000 in order to progress towards the full £16million grant.

This project, which is the next phase of the plan to restore the 37-mile long Cotswold Canals, has two key aims: it will see the creation of a new wildlife wetland corridor that stretches across the Stroud District and it will work with young people locally and nationally, asking the architects and engineers of tomorrow to provide innovative solutions to today's built environment. It will also link rural and urban communities and provide a wealth of training opportunities both locally and nationally.

'This is excellent news for all supporters of the canal project and is another major step forward towards the goal of restoring the navigation from the River Severn to the River Thames," said Councillor Nigel Studdert-Kennedy, Stroud District Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration.

British Waterway's Director of Regeneration, Derek Cochrane said:
"This is good news for these two historic waterways and their surrounding local communities. This development grant will bring us one step closer to restoring the Cotswold Canals and whilst there is still much work to be done to secure the full grant it will allow us to investigate the project's potential in detail".

The final application to the Big Lottery Fund will be submitted by the end of May 2007 and winners will be announced in late August 2007.

Roger Hanbury, Chief Executive of The Waterways Trust, says: "This announcement moves us ever closer to revitalising these important national assets. This is an ambitious project and to reach the shortlist is a testament to the hard work and commitment devoted to the project by all members of the Partnership."

In view of this exciting news it may be an opportune time to remind you that you can download a copy of the "Provisional Delivery Proposals" for Phase 1A – the stretch from Brimscombe Port to The Ocean, Stonehouse – at:- http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/Provisional%20Delivery%20Proposals.pdf

However if you are after something more technical then "Project Atlas" is available for download at:-http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/cotswolds/conservation_management_plan/downloads.html but beware…downloading the whole is a project in itself! Both these links can be accessed through the Trust's website at http://www.cotswoldcanals.com