Canals - Project Manager Takes Up Post

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Canals - Project Manager Takes Up Post

The restoration of the Cotswold Canals took a major step forward at the end of last week when the new Project Manager took up his post.

Chartered Engineer Paul Coupe (42) has been appointed by Stroud District Council to lead restoration of the waterway between Stonehouse and Brimscombe.

Paul's immediate priorities are to review British Waterways' plans for the restoration and see if any changes are needed. He will also be working closely with the Cotswold Canals Trust to achieve some 'quick wins', such as a new bridge at Upper Mills, Stonehouse.

Paul is a local man, having lived in the district since 1973. He was educated at St Peter's School, Gloucester before going to Plymouth University. He has specialised in waterway development and spent 7 years with British Waterways before joining a Bristol-based firm of consultants in 2007. Paul has already made his mark locally with the Gloucester Quays development and design of the Gloucester - Sharpness canal diversion for the A40 bypass.

"Living in Dursley, it's great to be involved in a project that means so much for the local community," said Paul. "The canal will bring huge benefits in terms of the environment, conservation and the local economy and I'm proud to be part of it. I'm acutely aware that people want to see things happening and that's my job - to make things happen."

Paul already knows the canals well. As a keen black and white photographer, he has already spent many years exploring them, especially the old Stroudwater Canal between Saul and Stroud.

Paul's appointment was welcomed by SDC Chief Executive David Hagg, who said "We are very lucky to have found a local person with enormous waterway expertise. With his drive and enthusiasm, coupled with the council's commitment to deliver a restored canal, the project will now move up several gears."

Posted : 25/03/2009 10:30:58

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