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Future of Montgomery Canal to be discussed at forum

Created on 21/06/2018 @ 13:25
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Future plans for the Montgomery Canal, which stretched from Newtown into Shropshire and beyond, will be discussed at a forum next month.

The Montgomery Canal Forum will be held on Monday, 2 July at 2.30pm at The Assembly Room at the Town Hall, Broad Street, Welshpool.

The Forum is an annual opportunity to learn more about the Montgomery Canal and plans for its future and this year will be opened by Russell George AM, the new Vice-President of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust.

There will be two main presentations:

‘Celebrating the Flora and Fauna of the Montgomery Canal’ by Brian Hogbin of Shropshire Wildlife Trust
‘Establishing a Canalside Enterprise’ by Belinda Davenport of 
Davenports Vintage Tea Room near Northwich, Cheshire.

The meeting will also include news of the Heritage Lottery Fund project on the canal, of plans for future restoration projects and the Restore the Montgomery Canal appeal for the next stages of restoration.

Michael Limbrey, Chairman, Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, said, “This year’s Montgomery Canal Forum will be held in Welshpool, where restoration started many years ago.

“Our first speaker, Brian Hogbin from the Shropshire Wildlife Trust will tell us why the Montgomery Canal is valuable for its ecology and habitats. He will help us celebrate this corridor of abundant flora and fauna both seen and unseen, rare and common, all being promoted and protected by the canal restoration.

“The other main speaker, Belinda Davenport, will tell us how she has established a popular canalside business. While it’s out in the country, you still need to book in advance for your slap-up tea at the award-winning Davenports Tea Room. In our area one we know that visitors enjoy what the Montgomery Canal has to offer, and it is clear that further restoration will give canalside landowners more opportunity to develop new businesses."

He added: “The meeting will hear too about everything else that is happening on the Montgomery Canal – the success of the Montgomery Canal Triathlon on 19 May, progress of volunteers restoring the next section of canal and the other work supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, plans for restoring the canal past road blockages and developments in Welshpool and Newtown.

“Finally, there will be an update on the ‘Bridge The Gap’ appeal promoted by Trust Vice-Presidents Timothy West and Prunella Scales which is raising funds to rebuild the last road blockage in Shropshire.

“Experience in other parts of the country shows how much a revived canal brings benefits to its area. There are opportunities for recreation on the towpath and on the water, visitors help established businesses and new ventures in the local economy, and there is a boost to the value of canalside properties.

“The Forum will be a chance to discuss any issue concerning the restoration of the Montgomery Canal and what it can contribute to the area.”
The Forum is open to anyone interested in the restoration and development of the Montgomery Canal for present and future generations."

Photo: Part of the Montgomery Canal near Newtown

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