I wanted to share with you some fantastic news that was announced last week by the Scottish Government; we are getting an additional £5.35 million of funding to invest in improvements and upgrades to assets across the network. This will include the replacement of four pairs of lock gates on the Forth & Clyde Canal, installation of a new water monitoring system on the Forth & Clyde summit pound, a review of remote operations for Bonnybridge and Twechar lift bridges and the purchase of dredging plant so staff can improve the navigation channel around the network.
This money follows ongoing discussions between Scottish Canals and Transport Scotland about the challenges involved in maintaining the historic assets on the canal network and the publication in June this year of our Asset Management Strategy.
This money will also enable us to undertake a number of additional capital projects across the network that either improve the assets or help support income generation for reinvestment in the canals, including the replacement of lock gates 2 at Fort Augustus, phase one of plans to replace lock gates at Kytra and Cullochy, the introduction of 24 new moorings at Laggan Loch as well as a new water monitoring system on the Crinan Reservoir.
I am sure you are aware that The Falkirk Wheel is currently closed for its annual MOT until 2nd December, with a further closure planned from 5th January until 22nd March 2019 to enable significant maintenance works to be undertaken. You will also undoubtedly be aware that phase one of major embankment improvement works got underway at Linlithgow earlier this month, affecting navigation and towpath access between Bridge 45 next to Linlithgow Academy at Preston Road and Bridge 48 at Woodcockdale. These works involve installing 160 metres of sheet piling and will last or 14 weeks, with this stretch of canal closed to navigation and the towpath also closed to allow plant to access the site.
Phase 2 of the works are due to start on 14th January 2019 and last for 14 weeks.
I will write to you again with updates when necessary but please do check the ‘news’ and ‘canal updates’ sections of our website www.scottishcanals.co.uk for more information.
With kind regards
Chief Executive Officer