News - May 2007
Newhouse Lock Restoration Wins National Accolade
Press Release Reads
Tireless waterway campaigners Shropshire Union Canal Society have won a major accolade for their ambitious restoration of Newhouse Lock on the Montgomery Canal.
The £250,000 scheme was named Welsh Project of the Year by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors at their awards ceremony in Technium CAST, Bangor, on Thursday evening.
The project began in 2001 and boasted an unblemished safety record when it was completed in May 2006, six months ahead of schedule.
The completion of Newhouse Lock is stimulating increased use of this picturesque waterway. Wildlife and environmental habitats have been protected and the completed lock has encouraged the restoration of traditional agricultural buildings nearby.
The R.I.C.S. citation read: "This scheme is a tribute to the Canal Society volunteers who had the vision, passion and sheer determination to bring about the successful completion of a wonderful building conservation project which will benefit the wider community and natural environment for decades to come."
Flexibility played a key role in delivering the project, with Abermule School serving as a hostel to allow maximum time on site and British Waterways engineering teams involved throughout.
British Waterways Wales & Border Counties Acting General Manager David Baldacchino said restoration of this heritage rich 35 mile canal provided a fantastic example of the added value brought to the waterways by volunteers.
"The Montgomery Canal Partnership is dedicated to restoring the canal for the benefit of all visitors - walkers, anglers and cyclists as well as boaters - generating lasting benefits to the regional economy," he said.
"Restoring the Montgomery Canal can bring significant economic and social benefits to the communities along its immediate corridor as well as the wider region of Powys and Shropshire.
"I would like to place on record our appreciation of the tremendous work undertaken by the Shropshire Union Canal Society and canal volunteers everywhere for their efforts in maintaining and developing the waterway network," added Mr Baldacchino.
The restoration package brought the following improvements:
Refurbishing the bye weir;
Re-lining the bye pass culvert;
Clearance of vegetation and re-pointing;
Rebuilding front face of offside lock chamber wall;
Rebuilding towpath side lock chamber wall;
Rebuilding offside bottom gate recess;
Re-pointing towpath side gate recess;
Repairing bridge abutments;
Renewing lock gates and paddles;
Rebuilding upstream bridge parapet and re-point downstream bridge parapet;
Repairing lock approaches.
The towpath forms an important rural pedestrian route along the Severn Valley, forming part of the Severn Way long distant footpath. Newhouse Lock is a key component in the partnership's aspirations for an accessible, high quality leisure environment.
Media enquiries to: Richard Hall, S.U.C.S. Press Officer on 01630 657737 and John Clayton British Waterways Wales & Border Counties Media Unit on 01606 723866 & 07754 278511.