The key requirement for any organisations applying for the grant is that the project can start to deliver right from day one. This is an objective that is right at the heart of the Waterways in Progress report, with suggestions including the creation of a waterside community hub; enhancing and celebrating the built and natural heritage of an area or helping give unemployed youngsters the skills and training needed to get jobs.
The successful projects need to deliver on one of more of the key themes of the Waterways in Progress report. Channelling Regeneration looks at the economic benefits that can be felt by the local area; Promoting Personal Development & Wellbeing encourages people to get out and about for both physical and mental health benefits as well as volunteering and learning new skills; Creating Community Spaces looks at building social cohesion and instilling civic pride and finally, Enhancing Heritage & Habitats focusing on the environmental benefits of a project and the preservation of history and tradition for the benefit of future generations.
The grant will not necessarily fund more navigable miles, it is focused on the wider benefits that a waterways restoration project can bring to an area. The aim is for the successful project to create partnerships, engage communities and inspire stakeholders in order to keep the project moving forwards to its end goal.
Commenting on the new restoration grant, Mike Palmer, author of the Waterways in Progress report and IWA Trustee says, “In the report, we talk about larger restoration schemes being made up of bite-size chunks that make a big difference right from the start. These are the projects that we are looking to fund with this Waterways in Progress Grant. If you have a project that has stalled because of funding issues then this is the grant for you – we want to reinvigorate your project, motivate your volunteers and enthuse the local community. It’s all about taking that next small step to keep moving forward and seeing the benefits from day one.”
The money can be given in full to one project or split across several projects. There is no minimum amount you can apply for. The funding is for new projects that haven’t yet started but that have a realistic chance of being completed by the end of 2021.
Applications are now open. The deadline for ‘Expression of Interest’ submissions is Friday 16 August, 2019. There will then be a panel review at the end of August/early September. Shortlisted applications will be asked to produce a Development Phase Plan in October with the grant being awarded in December.
For more information or to fill out the online application form, please visit the Waterways in Progress grant web pages.