Subject : Friends of Regent's Canal - Current Opportunities

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to report that we had another well attended meeting at the canal museum on 23rd May. Minutes will be circulated later this month. I am becoming concerned that there so so many issues to discuss (and unfortunately some of them are recurring issues) that we never have enough time to cover everybody's area. So I am thinking of preparing reports or bulletins in advance of meetings, to give attendees more time to absorb things and to encourage more questions and ideas.

More urgently, I want to explain how the Friends are proactively facilitating two cafe proposals - one in Camden Town and the other at City Road Lock. In both cases our initial stance has been confrontational, partly because we were taken by surprise and partly because the written proposals seemed detrimental to the canal; but now that the issues are out in the open we are working towards pragmatic compromises.

At the Camden Town site we are advising Starbucks what sort of canal information we want displayed and how their store can be refurbished in a way that is more sympathetic to the heritage site. Please let me know if you want to help with the specification or the running of this information centre.

The City Road Lock proposal is quite different, because it will revive some neglected (but not necessarily redundant) buildings at a relatively unspoilt stretch of the canal. If the cafe is locally owned and locally sourced then there is scope for a green supply chain. It is not too late for us to influence the way this is run (for example, it might be able to sell accessories to anglers and boaters) so please contact me if you have questions or ideas to discuss with the owner.

If you want to learn more about these proposals then please visit these web pages.

Best wishes,

Ian Shacklock
Chair, Friends of Regent's Canal

7th June 2012

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