09:41AM, Friday 08 March 2013
The group behind plans to create a navigable waterways through Maidenhead are bidding for £1.6m in Government money to help fund it.
The Maidenhead Waterways Restoration Group (MWRG) and Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council want the money toward the £5-7m project which could see a 2km 'ring' of water around the town. They hope this will be used by small boats and canoeists.
They are bidding for cash from the Growing Places Fund which was set up to help overcome infrastructure barriers and boost economic growth, jobs and houses in town centres.
The application includes a letter written on behalf of the Shanly Group confirming their backing of the development, which is estimated to cost between £5-7m.
Funding is expected to come from a mix of private donations, public grants, lottery funding and section 106 contributions after outline planning permission for the scheme was granted over the Christmas period.
Cllr MJ Saunders, Royal Borough cabinet member for planning and property, said: "It is exciting to have reached a point where we can now actively seek funding for a viable and compelling plan."
The waterways project is seen as a key component of the Maidenhead Area Action Plan (AAP) and the catalyst for a number of commercial and property developments in the town centre.
A public consultation on ideas for the detailed design of the scheme is still in progress, but the first stage of the project would involve the deepening and widening of York Stream from the A4 St Cloud Way down to the railway line.
Richard Davenport, chairman of MWRG, said: "The target area for this first stage is at the heart of the regeneration plans. In conjunction with the proposed Chapel Arches redevelopment plans it has the potential to transform this part of town, for the benefit of residents and businesses alike, while acting as catalyst for other AAP investments."
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