A CANAL bridge between Llanymynech and Crickheath has received £70,000 towards a £200,000 rebuild.
The funds have been awarded by the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) to restore the structure, known as as Schoolhouse Bridge.
This is a major step towards the goal of reconnecting Welshpool to the national canal network after 50 years of separation.
The money comes from a large legacy, donated to IWA by canal restoration expert Tony Harrison, who served on IWA’s restoration committee for 20 years, five as chairman.
Three other canal restoration projects across the country have also shared in awards from the legacy.
There are no locks to be restored on this section of the canal, so the rebuilding of Schoolhouse Bridge is the only significant obstacle to restoring the canal back to the Welsh border at Llanymynech.
The legacy award will unlock other donations and match funding that should allow the work to be carried out in summer 2018.
Michael Limbrey, president of IWA’s Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch, said: “This grant is more good news for the Montgomery Canal. It is only a few months since we received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for work including another nature reserve at Aston Locks and the restoration of the canal to Crickheath, and those are now getting under way.
“I particularly value the fact that the award is from a legacy from Tony Harrison. Tony played a significant part in the development of our strategy for restoration, travelling to Shropshire regularly for several years while the discussions were under way.
“The revived canal will be an asset for the whole area bringing opportunities for residents and visitors who will value its safeguarded habitats and its unique collection of locks, bridges, aqueducts and canalside buildings,” he added.