23 November 2021

Work will focus on a four-mile length from Llanymynech to Arddleen and includes dredging and bank protection, re-building two bridges (Walls [93] and Williams [96]) and creating three new canal-side, nature reserves. Nature reserves are required as mitigation because the canal is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and also a Special Area of Conservation in Wales. The Aberbechan aqueduct will also be restored in order to maintain the vital supply of water from the south.

The Inland Waterways Association’s local Branch President, Michael Limbrey said: “This is absolutely brilliant news. We are really delighted with the work and support of Craig Williams, MP and the teams at Powys County Council and the Canal & River Trust (CRT).”

Mr Limbrey also chairs the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust which is part of the Montgomery Canal Partnership, chaired by John Dodwell. Mr Dodwell explained: “The Levelling Up Fund (LUF) application was submitted by Powys County Council, supported by the CRT and endorsed by Montgomeryshire MP, Craig Williams.

“There are still lots of ‘iffs and buts’ but it’s a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle and the Chancellor’s announcement has put a rather large piece in place! The support from the IWA for the canal’s restoration at Branch and national level – including the Waterway Recovery Group – has been much valued.”

Mr Dodwell said the LUF money has to be spent by 2024 and added that there are other major works still to be carried out in order to link Welshpool to the border and these are currently subject to other funding bids.

Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams, who was pictured alongside a Montgomery Canal milepost, said it represented: “a milestone day in Montgomeryshire’s history, after decades of local campaigning.

“This huge investment into Mid Wales to restore the Montgomery Canal will provide a much-needed boost to the local economy and will benefit both Montgomeryshire residents and visitors to the area.”