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Through Scottish Government funding, including an additional allocation of £5.35 million made available to Scottish Canals in November 2018, critical repairs commenced on the Caledonian and Union Canals on Monday January 14.
Scheduled to last about three months, the lock gates at Kytra and Fort Augustus on the Caledonian Canal are to be replaced.
Transport Scotland is making the investment to allow Scottish Canals to maintain these historic assets as well as assist projects which improve the experience for users and support income generation for reinvestment in the canals.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: ‘The additional funding is enabling Scottish Canals to undertake critical repairs which will allow boaters to continue to navigate the waterways for years to come. While there may be some short-term disruption, the works are essential to the future of the Caledonian and Union canals.
‘These repairs will be in addition to the scheduled maintenance that Scottish Canals will carry out in 2019 as part of its asset management programme – including critical embankment works at Linlithgow.
‘Our canal network plays a vital role in tourism and economic regeneration. To secure the future of the network, we intend to increase Scottish Canals funding to record levels in the Scottish Budget for 2019/20 in recognition of the challenges faced in maintaining our historic waterways.’
Catherine Topley, chief executive of Scottish Canals, said: ‘This additional funding is fantastic news and will help us to safeguard the incredible heritage assets of Scotland’s canals for future generations to enjoy.
‘These 200-year-old waterways play a vital role in local communities and Scotland as a whole, contributing to the marine economy; attracting tourists, visitor spend and investment; as well as stimulating job creation and business growth.
‘While managing these historic assets is not without its challenges, we are committed to continuing to work with the Scottish Government and our partners to ensure they continue to deliver benefits for all the people of Scotland.’
Scottish Canals have been updating and informing canal users on anticipated disruption as a result of these vital works.
For further information visit the Scottish Canals website at www.scottishcanals.co.uk.