A LOTTERY pledge of nearly £12million to help fund the canal regeneration project has been formally signed over to Stroud District Council.

The deal on Friday, July 24 between SDC and the Heritage Lottery Fund will allow officials to start phase 1A of the project at the Stroudwater Canal in Stonehouse this summer.

It transfers £11.9million from British Waterways to Ebley Mill, which took over as lead partner of the £26million phase in December.

The Stroud Valleys Canal Company, which was set up to acquire land along the canal route, is also a signatory to the agreement.

Work is expected to begin in October with a replacement bridge at Upper Mills and dredging between Ocean and Hayward’s Bridge.