The Trust are pleased to announce that at the end of February 2014 the Trust formally applied for Heritage Lottery Funding to commence the restoration of the Derby Canal at Sandiacre.

The bid covers all the work we need to undertake to open approximately 750 metres of the Derby Canal from its junction with the Erewash Canal through Cockayne’s Bridge to a new winding hole alongside Sandringham Road. This will include the restoration of Lock Lane Bridge and the two locks that lie between there and Cockayne’s Bridge. This length of canal was chosen so that the funding cost falls within the heritage Lottery Fund’s regional discretion.

In addition to the actual restoration work the Trust has included in its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund preservation of the remains of the Boat Inn a former canal side tavern that are currently lost in the undergrowth and the funding of a raft of education activities that are needed to meet the Heritage Lottery Fund outcomes (a.k.a. funding criteria).

The application process has consumed some 150 to 200 volunteer hours by members of the Trust and Societies’ joint development committee, over nearly six months.

A couple of weeks before the application deadline David Hayes and Chris ReesFitzPatrick had the opportunity to attend a workshop hosted by the Heritage Lottery Fund where for the first time they met four other competing schemes for this round of funding; and given the level of funding that each were seeking then this round of funding is competitive for the Heritage Lottery Fund’s available budget.

Throughout the process David, Chris along with Chris Madge, Paul Turner and Mike Snaith have had a number of meetings with Heritage Lottery Fund officials who we have found to be very helpful and supportive. However our competitors are likely to say much the same.

The Heritage Lottery Fund are now assessing our application, a process that takes four months. The formal decision making committee will meet in June 2014 for this round of funding and it is only after that meeting that we hear whether we have been successful or not. If we are not successful we will be given feedback as to why and how we need to strengthen the application to re-apply.

If we are successful in June, then the hard work really starts.