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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com For further information, to join the newsletter mailing list, or to enquire about advertising within this publication, please telephone (01453) 754408, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost: £38 inc VAT
"Follow The Bear"