Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Council decision on canal plan

A section of the Stroudwater canal
The partnership hopes Nearly 12m could be used to restore the 230-year old waterway

Councillors in the Cotswolds are to make a final decision later on whether to support the restoration of the Stroudwater Canal.

The Cotswold Canals Partnership wants to reopen a link between the Thames and the Severn through Gloucestershire.

Earlier this year, British Waterways stepped away from the project saying it had other priorities.

However the heritage lottery fund has agreed to award the scheme nearly 12m in funding.

The partnership wants to reopen the 230-year old waterway link between Stroud, Bristol and Gloucester.

A scheme to restore a section of the Stroudwater Canal that links Stonehouse to Saul was shortlisted by the Big Lottery Fund in October 2007.

When fully restored, the canals will form a continuous waterway from Saul Junction on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal to Lechlade in Gloucestershire, including the 2 -mile (4km) Sapperton Tunnel and 56 Locks.

Campaigners said restoring the canals would not just conserve social heritage but also create economic regeneration opportunities.

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