PUBLISHED: 09:43 08 October 2013 | UPDATED: 09:43 08 October 2013
The Montgomery Canal restoration is set to move forward thanks to £160,000 of immediate funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund - and the promise of £3.7m to follow.
The Montgomery Canal restoration is set to move forward thanks to £160,000 of immediate funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund – and the promise of £3.7m to follow.
A bid for a major HLF grant was put together by the Canal & River Trust with the aim of getting restoration moving again, both by paying for actual canal repair works and also by creating offline nature reserves to preserve the wildlife which has become established in the canal while it was closed. It has now been approved in principle by the HLF, which means that (barring serious problems such as failure to raise the remaining ‘match funding’ from other sources) it will go ahead – and in the short term, £160,000 will be released to pay for preparation, planning and development work.
Although the length of actual channel rebuilding to be funded by the grant is small, it will enable boats to cruise around a mile and a half of extra waterway from the existing limit of navigation at Gronwen Bridge to a winding hole by the restored Crickheath Wharf (pictured), including opening a section which has already been restored but is not yet in use as there is currently nowhere to turn round. In addition, the work on the nature reserves will enable the present limit of 2500 boat movements per year on the restored length to be doubled, and will clear the way for the next length of canal to be reopened through to the Welsh border at Llanymynech. The Grant will also pay for towpath work, and for repairs to historic structures further down the canal, improving prospects for further restoration in the future.