A project to restore and regenerate abandoned canal basins in Worcestershire has been given £1.7 million to carry out the work which could create up to 70 jobs.
British Waterways and the other partners involved in the Stourport Canal Basins Lottery Fund said they were delighted with the news which they believe could generate up to £1.7 million a year in tourism alone.
British Waterways' general manager Tony Harvey said: "We are thoroughly delighted to hear this fantastic news from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Waterways provide a catalyst for urban and rural regeneration, bringing visitors into the heart of village communities, towns and city centres, encouraging long-term sustainable development. Stourport Basins are a prime
example. "Through a combination of British Waterways' management and funding expertise, the enthusiasm of volunteers plus the commitment of Wyre Forest District Council and Worcestershire County Council, we can now bring forward a partnership approach to rejuvenate a rundown waterside location to create a unique visitor attraction."
The Heritage Lottery Fund has already made more than 12,000 awards, worth more than £2 billion, across the UK to projects as wide ranging as museums, beauty spots and local parks.
HLF regional manager Anne Jenkins said: "The canals are a strong part of our heritage in the West Midlands, so I'm pleased that work can now begin on the improvement to Stourport Basins.
"It's a unique area featuring several Grade-II listed buildings not to mention the wildlife that inhabits the waterway so it's vital that we preserve the area for our children's children to enjoy."
Councillor James Dudley, cabinet member at Wyre Forest District Council, also welcomed the funding, saying: "We have been eagerly awaiting this good news for several months. The money will be used to transform the basins and contribute greatly to the regeneration of the area.
"Not only will it provide an ample amenity for residents, but it will also improve the quality of tourism in Stourport-on Severn."
Along with British Waterways, others in the project include Wyre Forest District Council, the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, Stourport Town Council, the Arts Council of England and the Waterways Trust.