Canal project supports green gateway to the National Forest

Published: Tue 22 June, 2021

(l-r) NWLDC chairman Virge Richichi and council leader Richard Blunt presenting a cheque to Peter Oakden - Chairman at Ashby Canal Association

A 200-year-old canal has received funding for the next phase of its restoration project.

Ashby Canal Association has been given a £20,000 grant from North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) to support its latest step in restoring the canal with an extension and a new footpath and cycleway.

The 200-metre extension will form part of the wider canal restoration project and will connect the canal at Snarestone Wharf to Measham, which will provide significant economic and social benefits to the district, the National Forest and the surrounding area.

Residents and visitors who use the canal route will benefit from having a more attractive place to visit as well as being able to stay connected to Measham and Moira on foot or bike with use of the new footpath and cycleway.

Restoration of the canal will also improve the area’s environmental quality, with more access to open space, and will help to generate opportunities for employment, learning and skills.

In total, the project will cost £72,000, with Ashby Canal Association using its own funds to cover the remaining £52,000 as part of its commitment to the next part of the restoration phase.

The project is due to take place over the summer months this year and is expected to take eight weeks to complete.

Councillor Tony Gillard, Portfolio Holder for Business and Regeneration at NWLDC, said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting Ashby Canal Association in its latest phase of the canal’s restoration plans as it supports the council’s ambition to provide a green gateway to the National Forest.

“Snarestone Wharf is not only a great spot for visitors and residents, but it also plays an important part in the heritage in North West Leicestershire and has helped to shape character and identity of the district.

“The exciting new plans will make Snarestone Wharf an even more attractive place to visit and will help to keep our communities well-connected, improve tourism, support businesses and help local people into jobs.”

Peter Oakden, Chairman at Ashby Canal Association, said: “The grant from North West Leicestershire District Council will give us an opportunity to expand on the great work we’ve already done here at Snarestone Wharf.

“To get the canal to Measham will be a brilliant achievement and will help to bring terrific life into the village and essentially become the hub.

“The extension will open up other avenues for visitors as they won’t just visit the canal to explore the great outdoors, but they’ll be able come here and carry on to Measham to do their shopping or grab a bite to eat.”

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