The Inland Waterways Association are asking our future MPs to demonstrate that they will support the waterways if elected to the House of Commons by supporting our Five Point Partnership which includes the following:
- Protect our Heritage
- Build a Local Relationship with Constituency Waterways Groups
- Work with IWA in Parliament - Join the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways
- Support the Transfer of Navigations Currently Managed by Environment Agency to Canal & River Trust.
- Support Affordable New Off Line Moorings
For further information :-https://www.waterways.org.uk/news_campaigns/iwa_manifesto/iwa_manifesto
Rev. John Collier Appointed Chaplain
A chance conversation at Fourteen Locks Canal Centre led to Revd John Collier being appointed as the first-ever Chaplain to the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust.
John is curate-in-charge of the Parish of Mamhilad and will be installed as Chaplain by the Bishop of Monmouth, Rt Revd Richard Pain, at a service of thanksgiving for the work of the Trust in Mamhilad church at 12 noon on 22nd February.
The canal is an important part of the Parish at Mamhilad. Boating and canoing on the canal has become an important activity, and families, walkers and cyclists use the towpath. The hedgerows and reed beds are a haven for animals, and fish amphibians and insects live in and around the water.
The Trust aims to preserve the canal as a part of the history of the area, and make it available as a resource to promote a healthy lifestyle for locals and act as a tourist attraction. Members of the Canals Trust give their time and skills to improve the canal and towpaths for the benefit of others.
John hopes that the appointment of a Chaplain will forge stronger links between the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust and the Church. There has been a discussion about an annual service of thanksgiving, and the Trust will make a presentation to a volunteer who has given a longstanding commitment to their work.
John says, "The canal has been such an important part of communities along its route, and I am keen that the Trust will be enabled to bring back this importance. I see the cooperation between the Trust and the Church to this end to be important, and I am very pleased to accept the role of Chaplain to strengthen the bond between us, and to show that our Church is an active part of the community in which we live and worship."
Bishop Richard says, "I am thrilled that John is taking on this role. As an active parish priest he has already built up community links in the area and his chaplaincy will remind us of the importance of tourism in Monmouthshire and the fruitful partnership of the church. People need to relax and the tranquil waterways of our canals provides an opportunity to reflect and find space. The church offers a similar sanctuary in life and I hope that locals and visitors alike will also discover the peace of our ancient and beautiful churches."
Heritage Lottery Funding Secured to Restore the Ty Coch Flight
A project to restore a derelict section of our canal in Cwmbran is now underway thanks to the support of a £854,500 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant awarded to Torfaen County Borough Council in partnership with our Trust.
The money is being used to develop a comprehensive programme of training to equip new and existing volunteers, including the long term unemployed, with the heritage construction skills and canal management techniques needed to carry out the restoration work. An estimated 270 volunteers will take part in the project, clocking up 6510 volunteer days with 150 taking part in training and a further 50 receiving accredited training. The aim is to see boating, fishing and canoeing taking place along this stretch of waterway once again for the benefit of visitors and locals.
Dr Manon Williams, Chair of HLF in Wales, said: "Wales' canals are an important heritage asset for the country and a haven for wildlife. This is a fantastic project with local people at the heart of it. By training volunteers in restoration and repair skills we can make sure the canal is maintained and valued well into the future. It's great to see so many volunteers wanting to get involved and open up this historic section of the canal once again as a place for Torfaen residents and visitors to enjoy, which will in turn bring benefits to the local economy."
Richard Dommett MBE, theTrust's Regeneration Manager , who has been working directly with community volunteers on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal for the past nine years, said: “The volunteers recognise the potential which the canal restoration brings to local communities, contributing positively to both the economic, social regeneration and the conservation of the communities’ local heritage.
"The strong partnership which has built up over many years between the local authorities and the Trust has highlighted the desire of the local volunteers to see the canal conserved and enhanced as a complete waterway from Brecon to Newport and Cwmcarn including future access beyond to the Bristol Channel."
The funding will also improve the interpretation of the canal including a community website, walking leaflets and newsletters. Local schools will be given the opportunity to get involved using education packs including a multi media CD and learning aids linked to the national curriculum. A senior project officer and a volunteer supervisor will be employed to manage the programme of activity.
Councillor Bob Wellington, leader of Torfaen County Borough Council, said: "The Canal is an important part of the heritage of South East Wales. In 2012 the canal is celebrating its bi-centenary and the Waterworks project will provide a lasting legacy and resource for local communities in Cwmbran and visitors to the area."
The project will follow in the footsteps of the successful Fourteen Locks project which HLF supported with a £700,000 investment. The project was completed in 2010 and now welcomes 53 thousand visitors per year to the Canal Centre at Newport and many more to what is considered to be Britain's most picturesque canal.
The Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust would like to thank Members and Officers of Torfaen County Borough Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting this important project.