The Scottish Government has increased the total grant funding awarded to Scottish Canals from £15m to £23.2m. The additional money is intended to support the conservation of Scotland’s network of inland waterways and enable regeneration and sustainability work continues at pace.
Scottish Canals has undertaken various major projects to support Scotland’s canals recently, includimg a £3m investment in lock gate replacement works in the Highlands, £1.1m to fully re-open the Union Canal at Linlithgow and an £820,000 investment in upgrades to The Falkirk Wheel.
A new three-year Corporate Plan is due to be published in time for the new financial year, which will outline Scottish Canals strategic priorities and vision for the future. Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of the Forth & Clyde, Union, Monlands, Caledonian and Crinan Canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel.
“I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has expressed its continued dedication to the work we do to maintain these living monuments,” said Scottish Canals chief executive Catherine Topley. “From the majestic Caledonian Canal and the beautiful Crinan to the popular boating and tourist destinations along the Lowland Canals, these 250-year old heritage assets have a lot to offer the people of Scotland. We are very aware that we operate in a climate of restrained economic activity. We will work to demonstrate the many social and economic benefits that continued investment in our canals bring to everyone who lives and visits here, and are keen to work in partnership to ensure that we deliver maximum impact.”
She added: “Looking to the future and the uncertainty of climate change, our canals have an important role to play in supporting sustainable travel, flood management, and access to green space for our urban communities. This additional funding demonstrates continued confidence in Scottish Canals’ ability to create innovative solutions for the future.”