04:32AM, Wednesday 25 September 2013
The dream of navigable waterways around the town centre moved a step closer after the Royal Borough agreed initial funding for the project.
The council voted unanimously in favour of two key financial decisions at a full council meeting at Maidenhead Town Hall last night.
Councillors agreed to release £351,000 to Maidenhead Waterways who are running the project in its 2013/14 capital programme using Section 106 (S106) developer cash.
They also agreed to add £2.1million to fund the first 600 metre stretch from the A4 to the Railway Arches will also be funded through S106 receipts.
The project will upgrade and improve water channels around the town centre and eventually see a 2km navigable 'ring' of water, which can be used by small boats and canoeists.
Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Maidenhead Riverside) and council deputy leader and cabinet member for finance hailed the project.
He said: "The regeneration of Maidenhead is one of the three priorities across the council and it will make Maidenhead an even more attractive place to invest in."
Cllr Dudley said the work on the waterways is set to start at the end of next year's first quarter.
He added: "Congratulations to all who brought this project to fruition and is what our residents want to see."
Other councillors also praised the project including Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park) who said he had waited to see it while on the council and adding 'it will be Maidenhead's Windsor Castle'.
And Cllr Colin Rayner (Con, Wraysbury and Horton) said: "Our residents demanded this project for many years and we wish it luck."
The total cost of the Maidenhead Waterways project is estimated to cost about £8m with it expected to be finished by quarter two in 2015.
Plans by the Shanly Group to build shops, offices and housing surrounding the waterways - designed to complement the project have already been approved.
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