HLF award to the Stroudwater Navigation Connected project explained
The Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) recent decision to award £842,800 to Stroudwater Navigation Connected was a huge, and very welcome, boost to the project. This award is the first stage of the process whereby completion of the Stroudwater Navigation restoration project must be seen to qualify for the remaining £9million that HLF has set aside.
Successful funding bid
A vast amount of voluntary work was done to prepare a successful funding bid. But this is just the first stage of the process. We must now provide HLF with the detailed plans needed to start the work.
This is known as The Development Stage. Examples of the neccessary plans and research are listed below:
- Baseline surveys that allow the future impact of the project to be measured
- Detailed planning & investigations of major constructions
- Obtaining necessary approvals from Natural England and Environment Agency
The allocation and completion of these, and many other related tasks, will, by their very nature, incur considerable cost. These costs will be partly met by the HLF’s provision of the initial £842,800.
The huge benefit of the Development Stage is that it will also uncover those risks to the project which might otherwise have caused costs to overrun.
Time and, for that matter money, spent on in depth research and reconnaissance is rarely wasted.
HLF Grants Board impressed
The importance of the Heritage Lottery Fund announcement is that its Grants Board was sufficiently impressed with the ‘Stroudwater Connected’ bid and its promised outcomes that they decided to make the £842k Development Stage grant to progress the application.
The ‘Stroudwater Connected’ bid was one of just four projects in the country to achieve this. Provided that we can now prove all aspects of the project to be achievable and deliverable within budget, there is no reason why we should not be granted the remaining £9million at the beginning of 2020.
That is when restoration work can begin in earnest.
Stroud District Council Canal Manager Dave Marshall concludes…
“The project will require professional skills in project management, ecology, civil & mechanical engineering, fundraising, administration, and public relations.
If you think you have a specific professional skill or expertise that might help, give me a call on 01453 754 646
“The project will also require huge input from volunteers. That work will begin immediately.
Waterway recovery Group Volunteers Bob Brotherston, Martin (RAF) Thompson & David Smith
installing steps at Dock Lock, Eastington on 5th May 2018
“If you feel you might enjoy getting involved as a volunteer, please call in at one of the three Visitor Centres at
Wallbridge Lock in Stroud, Saul Junction on The Gloucester-Sharpness Canal and Bonds Mill Gatehouse in Stonehouse.
This a real ‘flag ship project’ that will make a lasting difference. Why not step aboard and help to make that difference?”