Cotswold Canals in Pictures


Cotswold Canals Restoration - Phase 1A

The canal being restored under the Phase 1A Restoration Programme is a six mile section between 'The Ocean' at Stonehouse on the Stroudwater Navigation and Brimscombe Port, to the east of Stroud, on the Thames & Severn Canal.

Work on the ground started in September 2007 and should be completed in early 2018, although some of the originally planned works have been deferred. More on this later.

In summary the Phase 1A restoration includes:

and redevelopment of Brimscombe Port.

British Waterways were originally going to deliver the programme, but withdrew from the project in April 2008, not long after work started, causing some inevitable delays.

Responsibility for managing the restoration programme then passed to Stroud District Council and a canal project manager was appointed in April 2009. In March 2009 the Stroud Valleys Canal Company was incorporated to take ownership of, and manage the restored canal.

Phase 1A Funding

Initially the Phase 1A Restoration Programme had finance to complete all planned works, except for the section of the canal between Hope Mill and Brimscombe Port, and the Port itself. This was to be funded as part of the redevelopment of the Port by one or more developers.

The cost initially was estimated at £27.6 million with £11.9 million of that being awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in January 2006. The remaining funding being provided by members of the Cotswold Canals Partnership and donations. A significant contribution has also been made through the use of volunteer labour.

Incidentally, when the HLF award was made in January 2006 the anticipated completion date for the project was March 2009.

Phase 1A Achievements

The Phase 1A restoration work started 'on the ground' in early September 2007.

The official start of restoration work on 18 September 2007

The official start of the Phase 1A Restoration - 18 September 2007

Since then the canal has been fully restored and is navigable heading east from 'The Ocean' in Stonehouse as far as Wallbridge Lower Lock in the centre of Stroud.

Between Wallbridge Lower Lock and Brimscombe Port the following has also been achieved:


Revised Phase 1A Restoration Plan

After restoration work started it become apparent that there would be a funding shortfall. A significant element of this is due to the Brimscombe Port redevelopment being deferred. This will result in a delay to the planned 2014 completion date, perhaps by several years.

In November 2012, the Phase 1A restoration plan was scaled back with the stated aim of getting the canal restored as far as Hope Mill. To enable this to happen the significant additional use of volunteer labour has, and is being used, to restore Bowbridge, Griffins Mill & Ham Mill Locks and the dredging of the pounds between. Some additional funding was also secured from the HLF.

This means that work on the remaining section of canal cannot be scheduled until funding becomes available, most of which will come from the redevelopment of Brimscombe Port as previously mentioned.

Phase 1A Deferred Work:

Brimscombe Port was given a boost on 15 October 2015 when a £2M funding award was made by the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA). This will enable some of the initial infrastructure work to take place including the demolition of a number of disused industrial buildings.

This should make it easier to attract developers to construct the commercial and residential property planned for the site in due course, alongside the reinstatement of the canal.