Devon County Council pledges £3m to repair Grand Western Canal

Issue date: 16th January 2013

Devon County Council has pledged up to £3 million to repair and modernise the Grand Western Canal. The money is to be included in the authority’s capital budget, which will be examined next week.

A section of the Grand Western Canal near Tiverton collapsed during torrential downpours in November last year.  Twenty homes were evacuated, roads were closed and fish spilled into neighbouring fields.

The canal closed as a commercial waterway in 1925 but has been restored as a country park and forms part of the West Country Way cycle route which runs from Padstow in Cornwall to Bristol.  Passenger rides on a horse-drawn boat have made the canal a popular tourist attraction.

The County Council hope that the work will be completed in time for the 200th anniversary of the opening of the canal in 2014.