Community invited to share canal ideas

A SERIES of consultation events are aiming to get the public more involved in the restoration of the Cotswold Canals.

The community is at the heart of the project so local people, community groups and businesses are all invited to attend the meetings.

Stroud organisation Creative Sustainability is delivering the community engagement programme, with the aim of these initial events being to support local people and communities in discovering the canal and its wildlife heritage and ensuring they are involved in all the project’s activities.

People will find out more about wildlife conservation along the canal banks, the old canal archives, their local built heritage and engineering projects. The project team will be available to talk about future plans and all the ways people can take part.

Community engagement managers Anna Bonallack and Emily Pearson said: “We want to ensure that the restoration project is inclusive, community-led and benefits local people and communities and our wildlife and heritage.”

Stroud District Council has invested £3 million in the restoration of the Stroudwater Canal and the Heritage Lottery Fund recently awarded £842,000 development funding to continue work on the project ahead of an application for a full grant of £9 million which will be made later this year.

This will see the canal between Stonehouse and Saul Junction restored, and will link it to the national inland waterways network for the first time since it was abandoned in 1954.

Cllr Simon Pickering, chair of Stroud District Council’s Environment Committee, said: “I hope that as many different people as possible will come to the consultation events, to share their ideas and views and find out more about how to get involved in this fantastic project.”

Details of the events:

Whitminster Village Hall, GL2 7NN              

Saturday, January 26, noon-4pm

Eastington Village Hall, GL10 3AT              

Saturday, February 2, noon-4pm

Frampton – Cadbury Hall, GL2 7HG            

Saturday, February 9, noon-4pm 

Stroud – Subscription Rooms, GL5 1AE                                      

Friday, March 1, noon-4pm and Saturday, March 2, 10am-4pm

Stonehouse Community Centre, GL10 2NS         

Saturday, March 9, 2pm-6pm and Sunday, March 10, noon-4pm