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News article created on 27 March 2014

Restoration takes top billing

Waterway restoration will be at the top of the agenda during a special workshop taking place in May aimed at starting to overcome some of the big challenges facing restoration groups across the country.

The workshop, being hosted by the Canal & River Trust and The Inland Waterways Association, is intended to become an annual event aimed at addressing some of the big restoration challenges of the time. It will bring members of waterway restoration groups, local authorities and other interested bodies together in one room to discuss a range of issues.Those present will have the chance to share best practice and celebrate the progress on restoration schemes across the country. The event is also intended to help groups foster new relationships and highlight areas where more support might be needed to progress restoration schemes even further.

Bond Warehouse

Taking place on 10th May 2014 at The Bond Warehouse, Digbeth, the workshop will also see the launch of a University of Northampton report into the benefits of canal restoration. The report re-examines the economic benefits arising from six specific canal restoration schemes (Kennet & Avon Canal, Liverpool Link, Rochdale Canal, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Millennium Link and Chesterfield Canal) helping to demonstrate how similar schemes may benefit their local communities.Richard Parry, chief executive of the Trust said: “This promises to be an interesting event and one which I hope will prove really useful to those coming along. There’s a vast amount of knowledge and experience out there and this is just one way of helping to strengthen those links and encourage groups to help each other on their respective journeys.“We’re also launching a report which we hope will demonstrate to a wider audience the benefits that canal restoration schemes can bring and help make the case for schemes elsewhere which might not be as far along the road.Les Etheridge, IWA's national chairman adds: “There is a long and proud history of successfully restoring waterways in which IWA has played a very significant role. Sharing ideas and best practice benefits everybody. One of the challenges facing all restoration schemes is ensuring that once restored the waterway has a financially viable future. This area is one which I particularly look forward to discussing.”