Gloucestershire

Cotswold Canal project seeks £10m

Up to £10m is being sought from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the government to finish restoration work on the Cotswold Canal through Stroud.

So far 6km of the 10km stretch of waterway from Stonehouse to Brimscombe has been brought back into use.

But a lack of private sector interest in covering the cost of redeveloping Brimscombe Port means Stroud District Council is looking for other funding.

The project's long term objective is to connect the Severn to the Thames.

Ian Edwards, canal project manager with Stroud District Council, said it was unlikely the Brimscombe Port project would be left "high and dry".

He said: "When the scheme was put together back in 2006 the economy was in a very different place and quite reasonably there was an expectation the private sector would be keen to invest in the port.

"The options are either to sit on our hands and hope the market will come back or be more positive and seek other sources of funding.

"Brimscombe Port as a site will create wealth, jobs.

"If we can get the canal into there it will make the site more attractive to developers and take away some of their costs."

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