Council bid to plug funding gap

sp94469 Staveley Canal Basin. Graeme Challands.
sp94469 Staveley Canal Basin. Graeme Challands.

TOWN councillors have pledged financial support for the restoration of Chesterfield canal – after a local authority pulled its funding.

The canal partnership was thrown in to jeopardy last month when Nottingham County Council said it would not be paying its £13,000 share of the project.

Staveley Town Council has now launched an appeal to plug the funding gap and has so far put forward a grant of £1,000.

To help fund the restoration the council is scrapping its community coach trip for local residents.

Council clerk Graeme Challands said: “We think it’s a bad decision by Nottingham County Council to withdraw funding. It is such a small amount from their budget.

“We are looking to see how much we can put in and have written to the 19 parish councils along the canal route to ask them to consider putting money in too.”

Mr Challands said it was shame the community coach trip, which has been running for three years taking residents to various places including Skegness, Cleethorpes and Bridlington, was to be lost but added: “The canal has got such a big impact on Staveley and because of the canal festival this year there will still be a community event.”

The funding blow has also put the job of development manager Dr Geraint Coles in doubt.

Chair of Chesterfield Canal Trust, Robin Stonebridge said: “The news that Nottinghamshire County Council is withdrawing funding from the Partnership has come as a blow for everyone working to restore the Chesterfield Canal – but we carry on.

“The Canal partnership has plans prepared for every inch of the eight miles left to restore and it is ready to fund. Much of this inspirational work had been down to Dr Geraint Coles – he is a real asset to the restoration and the future of the canal.”

Derbyshire County Council announced this week it would be supporting the canal restoration. The authority has pledged £90,000 over the next two years to support waterway projects in Derbyshire.