Subject : Friends of Regent's Canal - Starbucks Update

Dear Friends

It is nearly four months since I first notified you about a Starbucks planning application that could have resulted in a permanent downgrading of the Canal Information Centre. This is located in the Lock Keeper's Cottage, Camden, and it is the only remaining information centre on the Regent's Canal.

A lot has happened since then and a revised plan is being drafted. Starbucks designers have held discussions with the Friends of Regent's Canal, the Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways), Camden Council and the Regent's Canal CAAC (Conservation Area Advisory Committee).

It is looking very promising that we will converge on an arrangement that meets everybody's core requirements. The building will become a shared space, instead of a segregated space, and the refurbished walls will contain canal-related illustrations, historical facts and topical information. The information centre will be supported by volunteers, who will ensure that information is kept up to date and who will respond to enquiries. It is unlikely that there will be a permanent presence of volunteers, so we need to ensure that the information is of sufficient quality to support an unmanned facility.

If you would like to contribute any ideas, either for the day-to-day support of this facility, or for the selection of information to put on display, then please contact me directly. I will then try to forward your ideas to the designers before the final application is submitted.

Best wishes,

Ian Shacklock
Chair, Friends of Regent's Canal

25th July 2012

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