Waterworks Reimagined – Rachel’s Lock and Beyond
A Trust member working with the unemployed volunteers on the Ty Coch Waterworks project suggested that the land owned by Torfaen County Borough Council and leased out for grass between the canal and Cwmbran old tip would make an ideal site for a visitor centre. In 2019 Trust members had already excavated a 200 year old saw pit, and adjacent canal workshop foundations including a lock keepers cottage.
Following further investigation a project business plan was developed, funded through a Community Grant which included plans for a restaurant and site for a local farms market shop.
The project would be operated on a commercial theme. Apart from operating costs all profits would be invested back into canal restoration projects.
The project brings life to the Monmouthshire Canal at Ty Coch, including structures in the canals conservation area. It facilitates the interpretation of the waterways and of the pre-industrial history of the area including Llantarnam Abbey. Public access and interpretation to heritage will be increased. The delivery by trainees will help them develop skills that enhance their life opportunities, well-being and employment opportunities. It will also increase the pool of young talent available for future heritage related projects.
An “Expression of Interest” funding application was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in October 2019.
The application was put on hold in March 2020 so that the Heritage Lottery Fund could support businesses effected by Covid-19 epidemic.
The Trust received an invitation from the Fund to resubmit the application in February 2021
The application covers:
- Project administration cost
- Capital works
- Restoration of the remaining two lock on the Ty Coch flight
- Excavation of a Balance Pond
- Preliminary and Planning application costs
- Structural design/Traffic management
- Preliminary design & development fees