This project formed part of a bid for Lottery funding which was unsuccessful, mainly because of the cost of the restoration part of the project. A smaller bid for Lottery funding has received development funding, but that does not include extension to navigation.
PCAS intends to carry out the restoration in the most economical way possible, which will involve using volunteers and local contractors, where necessary. We appreciate the need for high standards and safe working practices. Here are a couple of recent examples.
In 2014 we have arranged two successful visits of Waterway Recovery Group volunteers. In March, WRG did scrub-bashing near Bielby and over a week in August, much of the towpath between Giles Lock and Sandhill Lock was repaired. PCAS funded accommodation for the volunteers and paid for the hire of equipment, but the work was done at a much lower price than if the work had been done by contractors. It is particularly useful that WRG work on other waterways throughout the country and already have volunteer training and safety well covered.
A pintle was built and fitted to No.8 Swingbridge, allowing the fixed bridge to be opened. Our local contractor, working to plans provided by the Canal & River Trust, did the job for half the price we had been quoted.
Our working party volunteers have been doing many smaller jobs on the canal in recent years, and some of these are reported in the PCAS magazine Double Nine. It has taken much discussion but in principle we have the support of the Canal & River Trust to pursue this restoration project. We expect that PCAS will apply for grants to fund the work, making use of our existing funds as matching money to demonstrate our own committment to the project.