Local canal campaigners are celebrating a £70,000 award from The Inland Waterways Association to help rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge between Crickheath and Llanymynech. This is a major boost to restoring a two-mile length of the canal through to Llanymynech, and ultimately reconnecting Welshpool to the national canal network after more than 50 years.
The money comes from a larger legacy generously donated to IWA by long-time canal restoration expert Tony Harrison, who served on IWA’s restoration committee for 20 years, five of which he spent as chairman. Three other canal restoration projects across the country have also shared in awards from the legacy, which was decided on which applications would do most good for the inland waterways.
Announcing the award, IWA noted that there are no locks to be restored on this section of the Montgomery, so the rebuilding of Schoolhouse Bridge is the only significant obstacle to restoring the canal back to the Welsh border at Llanymynech. The total cost to rebuild the bridge is around £200,000, and the legacy award will unlock other donations and match funding that should allow the work to be carried out in summer 2018.
Michael Limbrey, president of IWA’s Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch, commented: “This grant is more good news for the Montgomery Canal. It is only a few months since we received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for work including another nature reserve at Aston Locks and the restoration of the canal to Crickheath, and those are now getting under way.”
“I particularly value the fact that the award is from a legacy from Tony Harrison. Tony played a significant part in the development of our strategy for restoration, travelling to Shropshire regularly for several years while the discussions were under way. The final strategy he helped to create ensures that the canal is restored with protection for its special built and natural heritage,” Mr Limbrey said.
He added: “The revived canal will be an asset for the whole area bringing opportunities for residents and visitors who will value its safeguarded habitats and its unique collection of locks, bridges, aqueducts and canalside buildings.”
The grant follows a bequest from another IWA member which enabled The Inland Waterways Association and its Waterway Recovery Group to create the first nature reserve at Aston Locks. These reserves are to be a secure habitat to safeguard the canal’s ecology and the last of them is being created this summer with lottery funds.
Member since: 10th July 2012
A quick introduction - I'm John Waine, Director of TheBestOfOswestry. Having lived in this beautiful area for around 20 years now, I have decided to stay. :)
With kind thanks