Lottery funding bid for Wendover Arm Canal

  |  Published: Nov 28th 2015

The Canal & River Trust and Wendover Arm Trust are jointly applying for a Heritage Lottery Grant which, if successful, will fund a contractor to supplement our volunteers work, expedite completion of the present Phase 2 of restoration and more than doubling the present navigable length of the Arm to about 3 miles, as well as improving access and encouraging a range of activities.  

Re-watering the middle section of canal will connect the two lengths that are currently in water and create a 6.75 mile linear water habitat with the potential to engage more local people in this important built and natural heritage asset. Preliminary visitor counts suggest usage of over 200,000 visits a year. The project will enable the Wendover Arm to be in water for its whole length for the first time in over 100 years and safeguard the flow of water from Wendover to feed the Grand Union at Bulbourne near Tring. The final phase will be the subject of a further bid.

A wide range of organisations were invited to the meeting on November 3rd at Green Park, Aston Clinton to hear of progress to date with the restoration project and the proposed HLF Lottery bid. Around 80 people attended.

The meeting was chaired by John Dodwell, Trustee Director of CRT and with short presentations by Chris Sargeant, Chairman WAT and James Clifton, Enterprise Manager CRT followed by a Question & Answer session.

The objectives are:

  • Re-water a further 1¼ miles of canal
  • Enhance 6¾ miles of towpath for walkers, cyclists and anglers …
  • Improve the linear waterway habitat in an AONB
  • Tell the canal’s built & natural heritage stories
  • Enable 3 miles of full navigation from the Grand Union Canal at Bulbourne to a winding hole at London Road, Buckland Wharf (old A41)
  • Encourage a wide range of leisure activities along the entire length of the Arm

Looking ahead, restoration of the remaining section to Wendover will need to be the subject of a future funding bid.

Stage 1 of the bid was submitted on November 16th with a decision expected in March 2016. If successful, we plan to submit Stage 2 by November 2016, with a decision in March 2017 and work commencing shortly after that. The result of the current bid will be publicised on the WAT website

Thank you to all who have submitted letters of support for the project – you can in fact still submit your letters, which we will include with stage 2, if we are successful with stage 1.
 
The presentations, a summary of the Q & A session and a sample support letter are on the Wendover Arm Trust website: http://www.wendoverarmtrust.co.uk/hlf-bid.html
 
Thank you to those who have written letters of support – you can still email or post them to me - and we will include them in the Stage 2 bid.

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