The future of Chesterfield canal partnership has been thrown into jeopardy – after a local authority pulled its funding.
Nottingham County Council says due to budget cuts it will be not be paying its £13,000 share for the next financial year, which starts in April.
The news puts the future plans for Staveley Town Basin and restoration project in doubt.
Robin Stonebridge, chair of Chesterfield Canal Trust, said: “I think it is very regrettable that they are pulling out now. We need to keep the partnership together.
“It is a shame they can’t find £13,000 in a billion pound budget.”
He added: “We hope they can continue their interest and support even if they can’t find the money.”
The trust says the fully restored canal would give a huge boost to Nottinghamshire because all boats going through Chesterfield would have to pass through 28 miles of canal there.
The canal, which runs for 46 miles, links Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
Since 1989 over 11 miles of the canal have been restored along with 36 locks and 11 bridges. This month Staveley Town Basin, which has been under construction for more than a year, was filled with water.
There are only nine miles left to restore – but campaigners fear that without funding the project will be put on hold.
Mr Stonebridge added: “We are making phenomenal progress at the moment and this is just a real blow.
“The partners who are able to fund are going to have a meeting in the next couple of weeks to talk about a way forward.”
Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Kay Cutts said: “Like all other councils, we are facing considerable budget pressures and are having to find savings to protect services to the young, the old and the vulnerable.
“Difficult decisions have to be made and, sadly, this means we can no longer continue to provide funding for the Chesterfield Canal Partnership.
“We recognise the considerable achievements of the partnership and we welcome any ideas on how we can work together in the future.”