A BARN once used as a warehouse for goods transported on the Basingstoke Canal has re-opened.

Councillor Ken Thornber, chairman of Hampshire County Council, unveiled a plaque on the barn in Colt Hill Wharf, Odiham.

The building, more than 200 years old, will now be used as a base for the Basingstoke Canal Society, which runs the John Pinkerton II passenger boat. The volunteer-run boat raises cash for maintenance projects on the 32-mile canal.

Cllr Thornber said: “I congratulate all who were involved, and on their improvements to what will be an increasingly valued part of Hampshire’s heritage.”

As reported in The Gazette, the county council sold the building to the society in 2012.

Volunteers spent more than 1,000 hours restoring the 200-year-old barn, replacing rotted woodwork, rebuilding part of a wall and repairing the roof. They also completed a berth for the John Pinkerton II and did landscaping work around the barn.

Society chairman Philip Riley said: “We are very grateful to our partner Hampshire County Council for its support in enabling us to secure the future of the barn as an important component of the infrastructure and heritage of the canal, and as an operating base for our boat, which contributes more than £30,000 each year to the funding of the canal.”