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£100,000 grant will complete missing link on Stroud canals project

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 25, 2014

Comments (10)

A MISSING link in the ongoing project to restore the canals through Stroud will be plugged thanks to a £100,000 grant.

The gap in the re-opened waterways is between the Wallbridge Lower Lock and Lodgemore Bridge.

But now it will be restored and returned to navigation thanks to the donation from the Veolia Environmental Trust.

Executive director of the Veolia trust Paul Taylor said the grant would contribute to the Cotswold Canals Partnership's vision of restoring the Stroudwater, and the Thames and Severn canals in the interests of conservation, biodiversity and local quality of life.

Calling it an ‘exciting scheme’, he said: “It will bring benefits for residents, visitors and wildlife and I look forward to seeing it start and take shape.”

A stretch of canal 320 metres long will be dredged using the grant.

The channel is on the line of the original Stroudwater Canal but became heavily silted and overgrown after the canal was abandoned in the 1950s.

Lodgemoor Bridge is a former swing bridge, unusual because it is at a skewed angle, and which was due to be replaced with a hydralic bridge in 2011.

It is the last bridge over the Stroudwater before it ends at Wallbridge.

The lower lock, which will be difficult to rebuild because of the high banks on the opposite side of the canal, is effectively the start of Thames and Severn Canal.

Water from Slad Brook, which is culverted below the town, enters the canal nearby.

Councillor Simon Pickering is chair of the Environment Committee of Stroud District Council, which is leading the partnership’s restoration.

He said the grant was “excellent news”.

He added: “It means we can push forward and complete a missing link in restoration.”

The grant was awarded at Veolia’s quarterly board meeting this month.

Veolia will now work with Stroud District Council to finalise the details of the project, including its start date, and to get it up and running as soon as possible.

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  • Stroudman  |  January 30 2014, 9:49AM

    I would like to join in but I am not going to engage in a highly political spin ridden system devoted to plugging holes in the funding. Admit what has happened and I am sure people will willingly put hands in pockets and join in I have most if not all the original promotional material and there's a credibility gap that needs to be acknowledged

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  • Navvy  |  January 29 2014, 7:14PM

    I take it you will be supporting us at http://tinyurl.com/9by6tnm then? (Incidentally I don't see the Canal Trust using the "missing link" phrase, although a councillor did.)

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  • Stroudman  |  January 29 2014, 6:56PM

    It's a really crying shame that such a project to bring economic benefits like tourism which benefits so many local business, has fallen foul of politics. eg Waterways withdrawing, and money, eg relying heavily on volunteers. As with most things , check with any politician of the current age, obfuscation attempts tend to lead to embarrassing disclosures a bit later on. Honesty is truly the best policy when public money is involved. As for canals and Woodchester either or both could be completed given the will and the right conditions

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  • Navvy  |  January 29 2014, 11:28AM

    I won't even attempt to put a date on completion. Too many factors involved. Every person who gets involved is going to make a difference, and for example I don't know whether you will get involved? You live closer than me, so you might be able to make a significant difference. Brimscombe Port is not being wasted, and will surely appeal more to developers when there is a reasonable length of usable canal near to it. I used to live by the Thames, and most people would travel less than 6 miles on most trips. If money from development of Brimscombe Port is too late for Phase 1a to the Ocean, it can go towards Phase 1b to join up with the Gloucester & Sharpness, and the main canal network. Unlike Woodchester Mansion, the canal was once fully operational and will be again. Volunteers are also working at other sites along the whole length of the canal, not just your bit in Stroud. The trip into the tunnel at Coates, near Cirencester was absolutely fascinating.

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  • Stroudman  |  January 29 2014, 5:03AM

    OK it will be finished no reason to doubt that would happen eventually Would you care to put a year, or even a century on that? Despite all the political spin we still have to face up to the reality that building housing all over Brimscombe Port, aka restoration, should have provided quite a lot of money for various parts of the project but when SDC put 'The Plan' out to tender no one would bid for it as it was considered totally unrealistic. So we are still going to be facing a long thin lake going from nowhere to a zero place that is incomplete even to the original proposal for many years and the use of volunteers, and what does that say about the administration of it, to do the work necessary to extend the project at least a little nearer the port than it is now. A truly fitting companion for Woodchester Mansion

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  • Navvy  |  January 29 2014, 12:55AM

    The Thames & Severn Canal won't be isolated when we finish restoring it. It's a long-term project. The top end of the Basingstoke Canal was isolated for many years, but it is now open. Boats were using it long before it was finished. Same for the Droitwich Canals, which are also now open.

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  • Stroudman  |  January 27 2014, 6:47AM

    The truth will win as it always does. As you are a volunteer perhaps you could say why you support an isolated stretch of canal water

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  • Navvy  |  January 26 2014, 6:23PM

    The article does say "A missing link", not "The missing link". Any unrestored section between two sections that have been restored can be described as a missing link. It is very good news that one more of these sections is to be dredged - and this will bring water from the Slad Brook at Wallbridge through to the Lodgemore Bridge section. Volunteers from all over the country are planning to work on the canal this summer. I live about 70 miles away, but I'm planning to join them in April. I'd be helping them every weekend if I lived near an untouched section of the canal. Cloud Cuckoo Land? I saw a Kingfisher on a restored section of the Wilts & Berks Canal the other day.

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  • Stroudman  |  January 26 2014, 1:27PM

    We are suffering spin here. Once upon a time, not only fairy stories start there, The Missing Link, was the from the canal to the Severn under the M5 and the A38. The original application, we should all look at that, was to restore all the canal from Brimscombe port, including the port itself, to past Stonehouse so that a separate grant application was to be made to join up with the rest of the canal system and attract people to Stroud as part of a sales package to promote Stroud and revitalise it. We now have a part complete First Stage with gaps where they ran out of money I assume and a land locked useless pond that always suffered water shortages any way. I live near an untouched section of the canal which we are now told will be completed with volunteers as and when it is possible A major case of Cloud Cuckoo Land I fear

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  • Mudbox  |  January 26 2014, 9:02AM

    So, does that include replacing Lodgemore Bridge? 100k wouldn't seem enough to me for that, but I don't know.

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