A ‘MISSING mile’ of Stroud’s canal network is set to be restored.

Works to bring the Stroudwater Navigation canal back into use between Stonehouse and Saul Junction is starting at the Whitminster A38/A419 roundabout in early December.

Those who would like to find out more about the project are invited to a community information event on Monday, November 25.

It is taking place between 2pm and 7pm at Whitminster Village Hall, GL2 7NT, and will be hosted by Alun Griffiths Ltd, the company which has been awarded the contract to carry out the work.

In May 2019 Highways England awarded £4 million to restore parts of the Stroudwater Navigation including waterway, locks, bridges and wetlands which were demolished when the A38/A419 roundabout and M5 were built in the late 1960s west of Stonehouse.

Jim White, chair of Cotswold Canals Trust said: “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."

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, fundraisers for the project will find out in June 2020 whether their application for a further £9 million to fully restore the stretch between Stonehouse and Saul has been successful.

Much of the restoration work will be done by 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 time over the next four years.

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

Everyone is welcome to pop in to the community information event, ask questions and find out more about this and the wider canal restoration project.