Get behind grant bid to open canal by next year

BCS members man handle local gate.
BCS members man handle local gate.
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If people in and around Buckingham can show how strongly they feel about the restoration of the town’s branch of the Grand Union Canal, a 400m section could be back in action by the end of 2013.

After changes in the way grants generated by landfill taxes were administered the Buckingham Canal Society was asked to show local support for the £68,000 grant by Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd (WREN).

Society spokesman Terry Cavender said: “The advice on the initial screening had different wording and one of the things they are now keen to see is emails and correspondence from the community as a demonstration of its support.”

The funding bid comes after Aylesbury Vale District Council granted permission to reline and rewater the stretch of the canal in Bourton Meadow near Home Farm.

The BCS is now asking people in the Buckingham area to send an email to supporters@buckinghamcanal.org.uk, with they words ‘Support for BCS’ in the subject field and ‘I would like to offer my support for the canal restoration work proposed by the Buckingham Canal Society including the restoration at Bourton Meadow’ in the message field.

Mr Cavender said: “We’ve had a great response already from the whole of Buckingham and the surrounding area, we’ve also reached out through the Local Area Forum, and The University of Buckingham and have about 25 to 30 pieces of correspondence, but it’s always good to have more.”

BCS have also conducted a leaflet drop with feedback forms in Linden Village and 90 per cent of respondants expressed their support, with the remainder saying they were neutral, but not opposed.

Mr Cavender said if they are successful with the funding bid, all the planning conditions are met, and there are not drought restrictions, the canal section could be filled with water by the end of next year.

Mr Cavender added: “We’ll be starting the hardwork in January, with the contractors moving in by July and the timeline for the completion of the work could be as early as Autumn 2013, which means there’ll be water in the canal for the first time in 100 years.”