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The restoration of the Cotswold Canals

The restoration of the Cotswold Canals - the Stroudwater Navigation (7 miles/12km) and the Thames & Severn Canal (29 miles/46km) - will see the connection of England`s two greatest rivers; the Thames and the Severn for the first time in over seventy years.

Below is a brief overview of the history and project updates for the restoration of the Cotswold Canals.

Stroud District Council took on leadership of a Heritage Lottery funded project to restore a six-mile section of the Cotswold Canals in 2008.

The decision was taken against a background of recession and difficult financial and engineering challenges, but with huge community support.

With tremendous volunteer help, a five-mile length of canal known as `Phase 1A’ has been restored between Stonehouse and Thrupp. H.R.H The Prince of Wales marked the achievement by visiting Stroud in February 2018 and officially opening the Wallbridge Lower Lock.

In 2018 the National Lottery Heritage Fun awarded us £842,000 towards the £2million cost of drawing up detailed proposals for restoring a further four-mile length of canal -`Phase 1B’ - which would connect the Cotswold Canals to the national canal network and make Stroud and Stonehouse canal towns once again .

The project received a huge boost when Highways England made a £4million grant towards the cost of reinstating the `Missing Mile’ of canal, destroyed when the M5 was guilt and the A419/A38 was upgraded. The money will fund the two bridges needed to take the canal through the A38 roundabout at Whitminster.

Stroud District Council has made £3million available for the project. A successful final bid of £9million of Lottery funding was awarded in 2020.

For further information about the canal -