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Is the canals strategy on the right course? 

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Stroud District Council has prepared a long-term vision and strategy for the future of the canals in the district and wants your views before developing an action plan to deliver it.

The draft strategy sets out how the council, its partners, communities, and landowners can work together to make better use of our canals for culture, recreation, leisure, to support the local economy and to enhance the environment and local wildlife.

It uses the results of a public survey during which people shared their experience of using the canals in the district.

The canals include the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal (running from Hardwicke in the north of the District to Sharpness in the south), and the two Cotswold Canals (from Saul Junction in the west, to Chalford in the east).

The draft strategy sets out initiatives to improve 14 canal areas in the short, medium, and long term. These include suggested community uses and activities, ideas for improving travel and movement along the canals, projects for wildlife enhancement and for people to connect with nature.

Stroud District Council leader, Cllr Doina Cornell said: “Supporting a thriving and resilient local economy and environment is a key part of the Council Plan, and the canal strategy has an important role to play in promoting prosperity, our health and wellbeing, and bringing visitors to the district’s waterways.

I would urge anyone who lives near or uses the canal corridors to read the draft strategy and give us their views.”

Cllr Chloe Turner, SDC Chair of Environment Committee added: “Stroud district’s canals are part of our heritage but can also contribute to a thriving future for the area, connecting communities, businesses and providing outstanding wildlife habitats. We want everyone’s views on how we build and shape the canal corridor for the future.”

The strategy will compliment and support longer-term schemes relating to the National Heritage Lottery-funded restoration project that is unlocking a lost section of the Cotswold canals corridor between Saul Junction and Eastington.

An effective canal strategy will also provide the platform to make effective future funding bids to Government and other funding bodies.

To read the draft strategy and find out how to comment please follow the link: www.stroud.gov.uk/canalstrategy. Copies are available at libraries in the district and town and parish council offices that are open to the public.

The consultation will close on 18 April 2022.

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