Heritage Lottery Fund Update
The Grantham Canal Partnership supported by the Grantham Canal Society submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to restore locks 14 and 15. The emphasis of the bid was to undertake the lock restoration using volunteers as part of a national waterway skill training initiative being developed by the Inland Waterway’s Association, with an emphasis on learning waterway heritage construction skills.
Lock 14 with collapsed offside wall in critical need of restoration.
Although we only applyed for funding for the restoration of two of the four locks which remain derelict on the Woolsthorpe flight, we are confident that the skills learnt will enable the remaining two locks and indeed other derelict locks elsewhere on the Grantham Canal to be restored. As this is part of a national training initiative we will also, through skills learnt, be indirectly assisting in the restoration of locks on other canals in the process of restoration.
In addition to the restoration of the locks, we are also proposing to work with local canalside village communities to research and install bespoke interpretation panels and new signage along the full 33 mile of the canal. It is hoped that this locally based research will discover previously unseen photographs of the canal before it closed and unlock lots of canal memories which can be recorded.
A further emphasis will be the marketing of the many volunteering opportunities on the canal to attract a much wider cross section of people than is currently the case.
We heard that we were successful in our Stage 1 Application in June 2011. This enables us to commission a series of studies and reports then submit our stage 2 application in February 2013. We have cleared the offside vegetation on locks 12 to 15 in readiness for engineering surveys. Watch this space for further progress.
The value of the stage 1 application is £55,000, with the estimated overall cost of the proposed works (stage 2) being £750,000. Out application to the HLF would be for £380,000, with the remaining costs being secured through other grant funding bodies, company sponsorship and ‘gift in kind’, which will primarily consist of the value of volunteers who are involved with the project or are receiving training.
If we are successful then it will give the Grantham Canal and its canal heritage a much needed boost. Restoration of these locks would be the next step in achieving navigation into Leicestershire and eventually through to Redmile. Undoubtedly there will be plenty to do but it will be worth it! In the meantime we must work hard to ensure success with the stage 1 application.