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Gloucestershire Business News

Contractor chosen by county council to undertake £4million canal restoration project

A contractor has been chosen for the £4million project that will see the restoration of the 'missing mile' on the Stroudwater Navigation.

Earlier this year, Highways England awarded Cotswold Canal Trust £4million to restore the canal and infrastructure that was demolished in the 1960s.

The missing section to the west of Stonehouse will see the waterway, locks and wetlands restored and bridges on a section of canal that will link to Saul Junction.

The council as highways authority have appointed Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd to undertake the work.

The same firm have just completed the overhaul of the A38 Cross Keys roundabout to the south of Gloucester.

Unlike most road infrastructure projects, this is the corner stone of a local charity's mission to restore the historic canals between the River Severn and The Thames.

The funds awarded by Highways England were welcomed by Jim White, Chair of Cotswold Canals Trust.

"Having now awarded the contract to Alun Griffiths Ltd through Gloucestershire County Council we are able to get started, which is really welcome and will significantly progress the overall project by bringing forward this major engineering task in the programme," he said.

A five-mile section of canal between Thrupp and Stonehouse has already been restored and Stroud District Council, Cotswold Canals Trust and partners are working on connecting that stretch to the nation's inland waterway network at Saul.

After winning £872,000 of development funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund last year, it will find out in June 2020 whether it will receive a further £9 million to fully restore the stretch between Stonehouse and Saul.

The work will enhance the cultural heritage and historic features near to the M5 and A38 and increase biodiversity with more than 30 hectares of wildlife habitats, improved flood prevention measures and community orchards.

The scheme will also provide an off-carriageway pedestrian and cycle route through the major roundabout.

Much of the canal restoration work will be done by an army of volunteers.

Cotswold Canals Trust estimates that the wider Cotswold Canals Connected project, to which this scheme is linked, will use approximately 700,000 hours of volunteer time over the next four years.

Where the project crosses major rail and road infrastructure, work will be procured by the owner and undertaken by contractors.

A information event detailing the work on the canal will be held by the contractors at Whitminster Village on Monday, November 25, from 2pm - 7pm.

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