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Follow The Bear

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Follow The Bear

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									    Summer 2007                             www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org                                                     Issue 3


                                                                  Follow The Bear
                                                                     Initial work to restore the     response to emerging market
                                                                     canal began in earnest in       opportunities brought about by the
                                                                     1997, with the final work       restoration programme.
                                                                     being completed over the        “The presence of ACE (Association of
                                                                     2006/07 Christmas period.       Canal Enterprises) shows that many of
                                                                     After the work, a               these businesses are organised and
                                                                     questionnaire was sent to all   have developed a clear sense of a
 Devizes hotelier Andrew MacLachlan has seen profits at The
                                                                     local businesses, to gauge      business community based around the
   Bear Hotel rise by 12% since the regeneration programme
                                                                     the economic benefits, and to   Kennet and Avon Canal.”
Stroud is not the first area to have a               assess how attitudes had changed in the
canal regeneration programme—far                     ten years during the work.                      Wiltshire & Swindon Economic
from it.                                                                                             Partnership (WSEP) Manager Caroline
                                                     The results were conclusive that the
                                                                                                     Lewis is equally enthusiastic over the
In Devizes, Wiltshire, the Kennet & Avon restoration was money well spent, as 80%
                                                                                                     economic benefits that the canal’s
Canal has recently been                              of traders reported an increase in turnover
                                                                                                     regeneration has brought to Devizes.
restored—and trade in the town centre                over the last three years, with 46% also af-
has increased significantly as a result.             firming an increase in staff. On average,       “I think to be honest, we anticipated that
                                                     respondents indicated that just 8.4% of their   the short-term impact would be
“I was a little apprehensive about the
                                                     workforce lived further than 10 miles from      negligible,” she said.
benefits it could bring at first,” admitted
                                                     their business.
Andrew MacLachlan, the proprietor of                                                                 “However, the Partnership was
Devizes’ oldest hotel, The Bear.                     A spokesman for ECOTEC, who conducted           thrilled at the difference it has made to
                                                     the report, said:                               the area. For example, we saw 7.7
“But after a while, I noticed a
                                                                                                     million visitors visit the canal last year,
considerable increase in the number of               “On the whole, the waterway economy
                                                                                                     with a visitor spend of £26 million. This
bookings that I was taking. Intrigued, I             appears to be healthy. The majority of
                                                                                                     is up by 20% since 1995, immediately
began to ask my customers where they                 businesses surveyed as part of this study
                                                                                                     before the canal’s initial restoration
had come from, and why they were                     has grown in terms of employment and
                                                                                                     began.
staying here. To my surprise and                     turnover. Furthermore, some businesses
delight, most of my customers were in                reported that they have diversified in
                                                                                                     “I think the results clearly demonstrate
fact quite local. Most were cycling
                                                                                                     the importance of the canal within the
between Reading and Bath on the
                                                      Devizes from the air                           local economy, and how integral it is to
Kennet & Avon Canal, and using my
                                                                                                     our economic future.”
hotel as a stop-over to add to the
experience. I can only recall this                                                Town Centre        Since 1995, £350m has been invested
happening in the last year since the                                                                 in 23 commercial developments
                                                                                                     alongside the K& A Canal. Of these, 18
canal’s restoration programme has been
                                                                                                     have been on brownfield sites, with
completed. Therefore, it would be logical                                                            £260m having been invested in 70,000
to assume that what has happened here                                                                square metres of new retail and office
in Devizes can also happen in Stroud.”                                                               development in the Canal Corridor.
                                                      K&A Canal


    Tel: (01453) 754408 E-mail: enterprise@stroud.gov.uk Web: www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org
        Summer 2007           www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org           Issue 3



        That’s SHOWbiz!                                                           Big Lottery—Big Plans!
The Cotswold Canals Partnership is com-              The Stage 2 application has now been          •       226,000 extra visitor days, of which
ing to an event near you!                            lodged with Big Lottery on behalf of the              60% will be by sustainable means
                                                     Cotswold Canals Partnership. This would
                                                                                                   •       42 new leisure & tourism jobs
                                                     see completion of the canal restoration
                                                     between Stonehouse and Saul Junction          •       80,000 additional visitor days on
                                                     and connect the length between                        adjacent waterways, generating an
                                                     Brimscombe and Stonehouse (‘Phase                     additional £1 million of visitor spend
                                                     1A’), to the national canals network. The             and another 28 jobs into the local
                                                     application is for a grant of almost £19              economy
                                                     million against total project costs of £25    •       Up to £148,000 in health benefits
                                                     million (which include an endowment of
                                                                                                   •       3.6 hectares of brownfield land
During the summer months, our tent will be           £400,000 to cover net maintenance costs
                                                                                                           brought back into mixed use
prominently displayed across the District, with      for the first 3½ years).
                                                                                                   •       35 hectares of land for public use
experts on hand to answer your canal questions;
whether they are environmental, business, or         The project also includes a cycle/footpath,   •       5 hectares of new reed bed, up to 15
                                                     a 72-berth marina, new habitats and                   hectares of new
you just want a quick chat, we’ll be on hand to
                                                     extensive interpretation, arts and                                           “The Canal
help!                                                                                                      woodland, and 5
                                                     education input. New partners include the             hectares of land       restoration scheme
The confirmed dates are:                             University of Gloucestershire and                     managed for otters
                                                     Setpoint, both of whom aim to encourage                                      has acted as a
•         Sat   23rd       June   @ Rodborough                                                     •       Reaching 1,074,395
                                                     greater take up of Science, Technology,
          Community Fete & Stonehouse Fair                                                                 people within 20       catalyst to the
                                                     Engineering and Mathematics in line with
                                                                                                           miles of the           economic upturn in
                                                     Government targets. Sustainable methods
•         Sat 30th June—Sun 1st July @ Saul                                                                waterway
                                                     will be employed with the aim of achieving
          Canal Festival                                                                                                          the Devizes area,
                                                     a carbon neutral canal construction.          •       6km of new cycle

•         Sat 21st July @ Stroud Country Show                                                              and footpaths          with proven
                                                     This substantial application builds upon,     •       6km of canal
                                                                                                                                  benefits time and
•         Sun 12th Aug @ Cainscross Fair             and is complementary, to the existing                 restored - including
                                                     Heritage Lottery and SWRDA funded                     1.4km which is       time again.”
•         Sat 8th Sep @ Minchinhampton Fair          stage 1A. Predicted outputs from the                  currently dry, 6
                                                     project include:                                      bridges and 2 locks
The Partnership’s spokesman Dave Marshall
said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the                                                            extending navigable Andrew Stumpf
community to engage with the project and ask
                                                     •       6234 volunteer days input                     water by 16km
the experts any questions they may have. Simi-       •       55 courses and 734 people trained             (including Phase 1A)
larly this is a great opportunity for the Partner-   •       110 primary and 400 secondary
ship to meet the needs of the local area and to                                                    An assessment visit took place on the 13th-14th
                                                             school students involved each         June. The result will not be known before
take our message out to the wider community”.



         The benefits to the business community via Phase 1B
                                     “Canal restoration schemes around the country have delivered proven benefits to the
                                     local economy in changing potential investors’ perception of a place; in providing a
                                     demand for leisure and tourism businesses and in providing somewhere people want
                                     to live, work and relax. Change cannot be achieved by any one body acting alone; a
                                     strong and proactive partnership sharing a common vision is essential.

                                     “The work that was undertaken at the Kennet & Avon Canal realised the “vision” of the
                                     Partnership there. Investing in the local towns, such as Devizes, allowed us to quicken
                                     the pace of change to stimulate private investment. Since the regeneration plans were
                                     announced in 1995, the project added over £350 million to the commercial
         Andrew Stumpf
                                     environment. Our aim now must be to ensure that the Stroud District can benefit from
    Regeneration Manager,            its regeneration project, and similarly, add value to the local area.”
        British Waterways
                                                                             Summer 2007          www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org                  Issue 3


                                                                                                                   R o ya l e n d o r s e m e n t f o r t h e

             Mind your own business, says                                                                                H e r i t a g e Ac a d e m y
                                                                                                               The Prince's Charities Foundation and
            The Cotswold Heritage Academy                                                                      Construction Skills has just
                                                                                                               announced its support for funding to the
                                                                                                               Cotswold Heritage academy, a joint
  Over twenty new small businesses in the            include Cirencester and Stroud Colleges, Stroud           education initiative provided by the
  Stroud District have been created thanks to        District Council, the Woodchester Mansion Trust,          Cotswold Canals Partnership.
  the introduction of The Rural & Heritage Skills    The Cotswold Canals Trust, British Waterways,
  Project.                                           and The Royal Agricultural College.                       With the demand for skilled craftspeople
                                                                                                               able to conserve our national heritage far
  These new enterprises are also being                “The training was provided by Gloucestershire
                                                                                                               outweighing supply, the Academy plays a
  supported as they develop, by an                   Enterprise and those attending felt it had been a
  establishment of support structures, such as       great success,” said Graham Thompson, the                 vital part in supplying the necessary
                                                                                                               expertise within the community. The
  REG, (Rural Enterprise Gateway), a group of        RAC’s Senior Project Officer for Rural Skills.
                                                                                                               provision of vocational training is vital to
  Dry Stone Waller’s. This group have recently
                                                     “Successful students can now show current and             the survival of our national treasures,
  undertaken New Business Awareness Training
  to help meet the challenges of self-               future employers their ability to recognise a skills      including equipping volunteers with the
                                                     deficiency, locate a training route and attain            necessary skills to play their part in the
  employment.
                                                                    suitable accreditation.                    restoration of the Cotswold Canals.
The successful students from 2006/07                               A complete module also included
                                                                   Health & Safety training, which was         Desna McAll, Vice Principal of Cirencester
                                                                   designed to compliment the overall          College, which was the first educational
                                                                   package for those wishing to start a        establishment to join the Academy, said:
                                                                   business from scratch. The students
                                                                   were taught to be aware of how H&S          “From small beginnings, the Cotswold
                                                                   risks can change due to                     Heritage Academy has grown into a
                                                                   environmental and organisational            close-knit partnership.
                                                                   constraints.”

                                                                                                               “The provision of funding provided by The
                                                                                                               Prince’s Charities Foundation and
                                                                   Many students came from diverse
                                                                                                               Construction Skills to promote the
                                                                   professional and educational
                                                                                                               Academy model and set up a locally based
                                                                   backgrounds, but all learned
                                                                                                               provision for Heritage Training has helped
                                                                   valuable skills and experiences on
                                                                                                               to put us and the restoration programme of
                                                                   the courses, which have led to new
                                                                                                               the Cotswold Canals on the map”.
                                                                   employment opportunities and
                                                                   increased confidence.

  The training provided by The Rural & Heritage                  “Some of the students have found
  Skills Project is part of the Cotswolds Heritage   employment with local construction and landscape
  Academy (CHA).                                     companies, both as craftsmen and as instructors,”
                                                     added Graham.
  Yvonne Lewis, the Academies Development
  Manager at Cirencester College, says that the     “The Rural and Heritage Skills Project has been an
  Partnership aims to help rebuild a skilled        enjoyable and cost effective journey and added a
  workforce that remains essential to the survival  valued contribution to local skills and training
  of our listed buildings and landscapes.           needs. One of our key success stories is that one                      HRH Prince Charles:
                                                    of our students has undergone treatment and
                                                                                                                           a keen supporter of
                                                    rehabilitation for alcohol addiction. The project con-
                                                                                                                           the CHA
  “The CHA provides accredited training in skills sequently motivated him to re-establish his land-
  such as stonemasonry, carpentry and joinery,      scape company and to offer his newly
  lead work, conservation bricklaying and related acquired skills and support to other local people            them to move from unemployment to
  heritage skills at HE and FE level, and by        undertaking drug and alcohol addiction support. He         sustainable employment within the
  promoting the issue within schools,” she said.    now hopes to develop a team of these                       Heritage construction sector.
                                                    craftspeople, with the support of the project, to
  “The courses on offer will provide                generate new local employment opportunities.               One former REG student told CCBN:
  management, business skills and conservation
                                                                                                               “The course has truly changed my life. I
  training, while building links to local
                                                    “The Cotswolds Heritage Academy has and will               came here as an unemployed labourer, but
  communities to encourage social and cultural                                                                 thanks directly to the Cotswold Heritage
                                                    continue to contribute in a positive manner to the
  engagement. Our aim is to equip the               reconstruction of the Cotswold Canals and                  Academy and the regeneration of the
  community with the skills to manage their         demonstrates how far relatively small training             Canals, I have found employment and
                                                    programmes can be successful in creating                   some stability in my life. A big thank you
  heritage and environment.”                                                                                   goes out to all of those who made it
                                                    employment locally.”
                                                                                                               happen, and I urge all unemployed people
  The project is also targeted to deliver a                                                                    in the District to give this a go – I
  supported route to employment and new                                                                        guarantee you won’t be disappointed!”
   business start-up, with a firm emphasis on the The courses provided by the senior partner, the
  regeneration of the Cotswold Canals. With the Royal Agricultural College and jointly funded by the
  provision of a skilled local workforce who can    ESF (European Social Fund) and the LSC
  both professionally (and as volunteers), apply    (Learning Skills Council) have been running over
  their new skills in support of the canal          the past two years. Students have acquired a
  regeneration, the intended benefits will apply to variety of transferable skills, which has enabled
  the local and regional economy. Current
  members of the Cotswold Heritage Academy
                                                                                                            www.cotswoldsheritageacademy.org.
          Summer 2007              www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org                        Issue 3


                                                                                                                         people who would like to be directly involved in the
          Managing Business Development                                                                                  process - many locals signed up in the Canals
                                                                                                                         Partnership tent at the Brimscombe and Thrupp
                                                        potential to be a unique landmark feature. The
   Development along the Cotswold                                                                                        Grand Fete (see page 2 for future events).
                                                        challenge for us will be to balance planning
   Canals will be managed by at least
                                                        constraints, community and stakeholder                           Elsewhere along the Canal, development will be
   three separate documents, Stroud
                                                        aspirations, potential restoration options and                   guided by the Council’s Core Strategy document,
   District Council has confirmed.
                                                        practicality, whilst considering the needs of the                which will set out policies for managing
                                                                                                                         development; for example, addressing the balance
   The most detailed will be            Brimscombe Port—a commercial waterway one again?
                                                                                                                         between residential and/or employment use.
   a dedicated Area Action
   Plan (AAP) for                                                                                                        "We know that all this is complicated and
   Brimscombe. This will                                                                                                 long-winded," said Cllr Tait. "But the planning
   cover Brimscombe Port,                                                                                                process is set out nationally. The Canal runs
   Hope Mills Industrial                                                                                                 through our District for about 15 miles, so there are
   Estate, the former Canal                                                                                              bound to be many issues - this is really only the
   Ironworks and Oak Villa.                                                                                              beginning. The important thing is for people to have
                                                                                                                         their say."
   At Brimscombe, the Canal
                                                                                                                         Already, nearly 400 people have asked to be
   is infilled and in places
                                                                                                                         involved in the development of plans affecting the
   has commercial
                                                                                                                         regeneration of the Canals between Brimscombe
   development built on it.
                                                        business community."                                             and Saul. To register your interest, call 01453
   "Brimscombe presents us with
   fantastic opportunities alongside                                                                                     754326 or email canals@stroud.gov.uk
                                                        The Council plans to involve residents and
   particularly complex and challenging                 stakeholders such as Thrupp Parish Council and
   problems for restoration," said                      local businesses. Later in the summer, people                          DATES FOR THE DIARY
   Barbara Tait, the Council’s Cabinet                  will be asked for their views on what issues
                                                                                                                                   From the Severn to the Thames
   Member for Planning. "The area has                   should be tackled by the Plan and options for
   heritage significance and has the                    inclusion in it. The Council is compiling a list of              An illustrated history of the Cotswold Canals by CCT Chairman
                                                                                                                         Bruce Hall

                                       CCBWG Update                                                                      June 28th

                                                                           community including relocation                2pm—Museum in the Park, Stroud
     The Cotswold Canals Business Working
     Group (CCBWG) is designed to assist the                               support and advice and skills
                                                                                                                         Contact: Abigail Large
     canal restoration project via 5 criteria:                             training.
                                                                                                                         Tel: (01453) 763394
     1.        Represent the business community                  The Partnership consists of: Stroud
                                                                 District Council, British Waterways,                    Email: museum@stroud.gov.uk
               in discussions
                                                                 Stroud FSB, Gloucestershire First,                                   IT & Web Design for SMEs
     2.        Communicate between the                           Business Link, and Stroud Chamber of
               Partnership and stakeholders                      Commerce.                                               Advice on how to set up & manage your IT network, and
                                                                                                                         guidance on Web Design for New Businesses
     3.        Protecting the long term economic                 So far, the Group has achieved face-
               interests of Stroud                               to -face interviews with more than 330                  June 28th

     4.        Advise the project as to local                    businesses operating along the canal                    Basepoint Business Centre, Tewkesbury
               business needs, and to draw                       corridor, which started in June 2006,
                                                                            developed and produced                       Contact: Basepoint’s Kate or Mel
               upon the talents and
               skills within the group                                      communication tools, (such as                Tel: (01684) 854444
               to promote opportuni-                                        this newsletter and the official
                                                                                                                         Email: tewesbury@basepoint.co.uk
               ties and achieve the                                         website), and are
               best results for the                                          co-ordinating enquiries to                  Cost: Free
               canal restoration and the long term               signpost and provide key
                                                                                                                            Public Relations to Promote Your Business
               economic                                          information and advice regarding
               regeneration of the canal corridor                potential relocation needs.
                                                                                                                           A workshop to help make big headlines for
                                                                 If there is a business issue that you                     the small business—how you can write good PR
     5.        To develop an Action Plan by
                                                                 would like us to put to the Partnership,                  copy for your business
               identifying and undertaking to
                                                                 please e-mail:                                          July 11th
               influence and employ mechanisms
               within their own or other                         enterprise@stroud.gov.uk                                08:30 to 13:30—Chase Hotel, Cheltenham
               organisations which will assist in
                                                                                                                         Contact: Business Link
               delivering economic regeneration
               and benefits for the local                                                                                Tel: 01793 428340

                                                                                                                         Email: enquiry@businesslinksw.co.uk
For further information, to join the newsletter mailing list, or to enquire about advertising within this publication,
please telephone (01453) 754408, or e-mail: enterprise@stroud.gov.uk.                                                    Cost: £38 inc VAT

								
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