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Montgomery Canal restoration appeal moving forward

By Jonny Drury | Newtown | Transport | Published:

Plans for the next stage of the multi million pound operation to fully reopen the Montgomery Canal are taking a step forward this week.

Work under way on the canal

The Restore the Montgomery Canal appeal wants to restore the canal from the Oswestry area, all the way to Newtown, and hopes to do that by 2029.

Work has been going on for decades to restore locks and different areas and restoration work on the Shropshire side is almost completed.

The work is continuing at Crickheath, near Oswestry, and now the canal appeal group is promoting the restoration of last bridge blockage in Shropshire; Schoolhouse Bridge in Long Lane, between Crickheath and Pant.

Fundraising is well under way, and the group is hoping people will back their Local Giving Grow Your Tenner Appeal, which begins on December 11 at 10am.

For a limited time Local Giving will match six-monthly donations and then the anonymous donor who is matching the amount raised by the Restore the Montgomery Canal appeal will double that figure again.

Michael Limbrey, chairman of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, which is leading the appeal, said: “Our ambition for the Montgomery Canal is to create an asset for the local community and for visitors to the area.

"The experience of other restorations shows that a revived canal enhances canalside properties, brings visitors and creates business opportunities as well as giving local residents an amenity for recreation and exercise.

Generous

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“Schoolhouse Bridge at Crickheath is the last bridge blockage in Shropshire. We have been raising funds to rebuild the bridge for over two years and our appeal is well on target with the support of a generous donor who is matching what we raise.

“Our next effort will provide matching funds for regular monthly donations. This opportunity starts at 10am and runs until the match funding runs out – which I think will be very soon, so we are encouraging supporters to sign up quickly!

“As we have a generous donor supporting this fund-raising, we calculate that with Gift Aid, a monthly £10 donation through Local Giving – the cost of a weekly cup of coffee – will be worth over £400 for our appeal. That’s an opportunity can’t be missed."

This week contractors will be conducting a ground investigation with boreholes to establish the soil conditions for the foundations of the new bridge.

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his information will enable the volunteer team working on the restoration and their professional consultants to finalise the design for approval by the highway and canal authorities to ensure the bridge meets the requirements for road and boat traffic.

Mr Limbrey added: "Rebuilding Schoolhouse Bridge is an essential part of the project to reopen the Montgomery Canal to Llanymynech and Welshpool and must be one of the most exciting projects on any canal restoration in the country.

"And it is all being made possible through the support of the local community and of enthusiasts across the country who want to see this lovely canal brought back to life.”

Donations can be made through the Local Giving website or through the link on RestoreTheMontgomeryCanal.uk

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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