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8 May 2019, 11:39 | Updated: 8 May 2019, 11:41
A £4m grant from Highways England means a missing mile of the canals around Stroud can be restored.
Cotswold Canals Trust will use the money to restore parts of the Stroudwater Navigation including waterway, locks, bridges and wetlands which were destroyed when the A38/A419 roundabout and M5 were built in the late 1960s, west of Stonehouse.
Jim White, Chair of Cotswold Canals Trust, said; "The Highways England award is extremely welcome and will significantly progress the overall project by bringing forward several of the major engineering tasks in the programme."
Much of the work will be done by an army of volunteers. Cotswold Canals Trust estimates that the wider Cotswold Canals Connected (CCC) project, to which this scheme is linked, will use approximately 700,000 hours of volunteer work and support new apprenticeships through contractors.
Sean Walsh, route manager for Highways England, said: "We are delighted to support this project which will restore the missing mile to the nation's inland waterway network. When the work is finished there will not only be a restored canal, but also a great walking and cycling route, and environmental improvements, all of which will attract more visitors to the area, and so help the local economy.
"Our designated funds programme was developed so that we can invest in improvement projects like this, which go beyond traditional road building and maintenance and have a positive impact on people and communities, as well as protecting cultural heritage and leaving a positive legacy for future generations."
The Cotswold Canals Trust aims to restore for the benefit of the whole community, the Cotswold Canals as a navigable route from the River Severn to the River Thames.