3rd April 2013
On 28th March, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced a grant of £65,000 to a consortium of organisations, including IWA, to improve engagement with the people of Oxford in the city’s canal. Oxford City Canal Partnership is a consortium, including Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency, IWA, Oxford Civic Society, Oxford City Council and Jericho Living Heritage Trust. The Heritage Trust will handle the grant and employ a project officer to oversee the work, which includes recruiting a team of volunteers to research the heritage of the canal in Oxford, producing associated learning resources, providing training, recording oral histories, creating and installing interpretation panels, a series of downloadable audio trails, radio plays, a website and improvements to directional signage to the canal.
IWA Oxfordshire Branch helps organise an annual Oxford Open Doors event one weekend each September in the City Centre, arranging canal-side exhibitions and operating three (free – but donations encouraged) trip boats along the canal to encourage people to give boating a try. The boats are provided by local hire boat operators. This year, the event takes place over 14th to 15th September.
IWA is working through the City Canal Partnership to promote restoration of the former Canal Basin in the City, which was sold by the original Oxford Canal Company in 1937 to Lord Nuffield, who filled it in and built a college; the area is now used as a car park and awaiting redevelopment. Further information about the Lottery Grant is available on the Jericho Living Heritage Trust website.