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News - October 2013

£160k HLF grant for Montgomery Canal restoration


The Heritage Lottery Fund announced on 7th October that it had awarded a First Round pass to the bid for the next phase of the Montgomery Canal restoration. The bid was submitted by the Canal & River Trust with support from the Montgomery Canal Partnership. The Society's restoration group assisted directly with input for the bid.

A development grant of £160,000 will allow preliminary work and the preparation of a Second Round bid for £3.7m. Work in scope includes channel restoration from Pryces Bridge to Crickheath, towpath improvements between Welshpool and Llanymynech and extension of the Aston nature reserves.

Restoration to Crickheath will extend navigation by 2 km from the current limit at Gronwen. The extension of the nature reserves will raise the limit on the number of boats using the canal. The total cost will be around £6m with the balance to come from other bodies including volunteer work-in-kind.

The news generated some interest in the local media. First out of the blocks was ITV Central News who filmed on the 8th and transmitted on the 16th, the piece featured interviews with Alex and Stuart of CRT. BBC Midlands Today visited on Tuesday 15th; we were asked to set up a simulated work party for their filming and fortunately a number of our top work simulators were available. In the event we had 10 people on site and turned down several more offers, leading some to suggest that we should arrange a film crew for all work parties. The piece was not transmitted until November 7th and one of our group became so anxious that he phoned the BBC for an explanation - but if you blinked you may have missed him. The piece included snippets of interviews with three of our gang and ran to about two and a quarter minutes.

Click to read C&RT's news report

Click to see Alex Ball talk about what the grant means for the future of the canal on YouTube : Montgomery Canal Restoration


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