A CHARITY is preparing a fresh bid for lottery funding towards a revamp of an East Yorkshire canal, after losing an initial application for about £1.9 million.

The Canal & River Trust applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund last September for a grant to fund major improvements to the Pocklington Canal.

The proposals included extending the navigable part of the canal for a couple of miles, creating a new learning centre and improving access.

The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society supported the bid with £30,000 of its own money, and it was also backed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

However, society chairman Paul Waddington said the application had been turned down, largely because of the size of the bid, which was close to an upper limit of £2 million, and it was likely the fund gave preference to a number of smaller schemes.

He understood it had been suggested that any future submission would be more likely to succeed if its value was in the region of £600,000.

Jane Thomson, of the trust, said she was in the process of preparing a revised, lower bid, with the lottery fund having advised it should be for no more than half a million pounds.

She said it had also advised that the bid should concentrate on improvements to accesss, better interpretation - such as new signs - and provision of learning facilities, rather than on the restoration of the canal.

Mr Waddington said in a newsletter that the society committee had decided to wait to see whether the Trust would be submitting a revised bid.

However, the society would only be able to provide matching funding if the scheme included a substantial amount of restoration work.

He said that if the trust submitted a bid for a scheme with an ‘inadequate’ amount of restoration included, the society would consider whether to put its money and efforts into an independent scheme centred on restoration.

“We should not wish such a proposal to be regarded as a rival scheme but rather a complementary one,” he added.