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Edinburgh's canal quarter plan unveiled - continued

The British Waterways Trust, which is responsible for managing Scotland's 137-mile canal network, today backed the proposal to breathe new life into the city's own network.

Steve Dunlop, director at British Waterways Scotland, said: "We are hugely supportive of all proposals which will help sustain the vibrancy now seen on the waterway and help deliver its full potential.

"Watersports are an excellent inclusive activity and they are growing in popularity and we are committed to delivering some fantastic canoe and kayaking opportunities on the Scottish canals."

Work is already under way to create Scotland's first formal canoe trail on the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands and British Waterways Scotland has also announced plans for a "world-class" paddlesports amenity in Glasgow.

Mr Dunlop said: "Developing a similar watersports hub between the award-winning Edinburgh Quay and Harrison Park would provide community groups and sports activity providers with some excellent opportunities as well as further position Edinburgh Quay as a bustling canal quarter."

The 32-mile-long Union Canal was reopened ten years ago and is already well used.

Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart councillor Gordon Buchan said: "The canal is a super asset and it is a real shame that a lot of people do not know it is there. We should be encouraging people to make use of it."

The city council's canal strategy - which will go out to a public consultation - also proposes new boat moorings to link in with a marina as part of plans for the development of Freelands Road in Ratho.

Councillor Jim Lowrie, the city's planning leader, said: "The Union Canal has become one of Edinburgh's most important recreational assets. It is also a focus for new development, particularly at Fountainbridge, and we must ensure that its potential is maximised.

"We would encourage members of the public to have their say in our forthcoming consultation on the Edinburgh Canal Strategy."

Edinburgh Canal Strategy - Consultation Document

Source: Michael Blackley, City Council Reporter, Evening News