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HomeNews£250,000 secured for Montgomery Canal restoration

£250,000 secured for Montgomery Canal restoration

More than £250,000 has been secured for the restoration of a length of the Montgomery Canal in Shropshire, UK.

National charity Canal & River Trust, working in partnership with the Shropshire Union Canal Society, has received £177,625 in funding from the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The grant, secured through Shropshire Council, has been further boosted by additional funding of £76,250 from the Shropshire Union Canal Society and the Restore the Montgomery Canal public appeal.

The funding will secure the next phase of the volunteer-led restoration to restore a further 360-metre section of the canal from Crickheath towards Schoolhouse Bridge, which was levelled nearly 60 years ago.

The Montgomery Canal closed to boating in the 1930s following a serious breach of the banks near Frankton Locks in Shropshire. At a time of dwindling freight traffic across the canal system, rather than repairing the canal, it was left unrepaired.

Connected

It was officially closed by the then owners London, Midland, and Scottish Railway via an Act of Parliament in 1944.

In 1969 the restoration of the canal started with the ‘Big Dig’ in Welshpool. Since then, volunteer organisations have been working to reopen the entire 35 miles of canal.

Twelve miles around Welshpool were restored in the 1970-90s but are not yet connected to the rest of the canal system.

The volunteers will be managed by Shropshire Union Canal Society.

“The Society has been restoring the Montgomery since 1969 and is delighted that this funding will enable us to extend our work,” said David Carter, Shropshire Union Canal Society chair. “The next section is a technically challenging length of channel being historically leaky. Additionally, it will be rebuilt incorporating water vole friendly soft banks.”

Nicola Lewis-Smith, from Canal & River Trust, added: “The restoration of another section of the Montgomery Canal will bring benefits to local people and businesses through regeneration, jobs, and leisure opportunities, as well as improving corridors for wildlife.”

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