31st Oct, 2020

Warwickshire's canals set for tourism boost

IMPROVEMENTS look set to be made to Warwickshire’s canal network to help boost tourism in the county.

More investment should be on the way for the county’s canals following a recent decision.

In a joint Green Party – Conservative motion, Warwickshire County Council committed to working with the Canal and River Trust to draw up a list of improvements including to towpaths and signs, to improve accessibility and connectivity between areas.

Plans to promote the canal network and its opportunities for leisure and wellbeing are also underway, including as part of the Coventry City of Culture programme.

The motion acknowledged the canal network, which passes through all five districts and boroughs, is a massive asset for tourism, wellbeing and ecology, and recovery plans would be mindful of its potential to boost tourism.

Green Party leader Jonathan Chilvers proposed the motion. He said: “Canals are a wonderful part of Warwickshire and are good for sense of place, tourism, getting from A to B and wildlife in towns.

“In the past we’ve missed out on funding to improve things like muddy towpaths, because we didn’t have a plan ready when opportunities came up. That should now change.”

The county councillor also wants to see a countywide canal festival play a part in City of Culture.

He added: “The council has allocated money to support the City of Culture and should allocate some of that funding to waterways. Canals are one of the things that link Coventry and all parts of Warwickshire. Wouldn’t it be amazing post-covid to have a touring county-wide canal festival featuring the best of our arts and show casing our history?”

The Leamington Canal Festival, set to take place in June, was cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

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