Skills Training and Education

The Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust (MBACT) sees training and education as a key part of its mission. The canal and its restoration provides a key learning platform for multiple topics such as engineering, geography, geology, history, archeology, the environment, nature, tourism, wellbeing, leisure and fitness.

The restoration work also provides a solid base for learning vocational skills. MBACT also operates 2 community boats that provides an opportunity for boat related skills and qualifications to be acquired.

Ongoing Skills Training and Education

As part of the ongoing restoration work our education focus is on:

Skills training​

  • enabling craft heritage skills training on canal restoration schemes
  • running boat crew training courses
Fourteen Locks School visit
Fourteen Locks Schools visit


  • providing schools curriculum based courses on land or afloat
  • providing formal education opportunities at the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre
  • increasing the general public’s knowledge and awareness of the canals, their history, and the benefits that they bring to the area

MBACT Canalside Volunteer and Learning Hub

In November 2023 MBACT received seed funding from the Torfaen Community Resilience Grant Scheme to set up a Canalside Volunteer and Learning Hub for canal related activities.

We are working towards being an accredited centre offering nationally recognised courses in a variety of health and safety, environmental and heritage areas enabling volunteers with MBACT and other organisations to gain qualifications in these areas and improving the quality and effectiveness of the work being carried out.

Subjects will include working safely near water, environmental considerations of working in the outdoors, safely using tools, protecting our heritage, the use of lime mortar in canal restoration, first aid and other subjects. These will add to the boating qualifications we are currently able to offer as a centre of training accredited by National Community Boats Association.

If a course already exists we are able to use it, but if not we will work towards developing it.

The initial funding is to develop the learning hub at the canal locks at Ty Coch in south Cwmbran, to make the location fully accessible and secure, with up to date IT connectivity and welfare facilities. It will also cover costs for assessors and setting up the structures to satisfy the accrediting organisation.

The timescale is that courses will begin in early 2024.

If organisations or individuals wish to discuss these learning opportunities please contact Laura or Jodie at the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre or email us on

Education Through Restoration Project (ETR) 2010 – 2012

Heritage Lottery Fund logo

In 2010 – 2012 MBACT provided training and education opportunities as part of the Education Through Restoration (ETR) project. This involved the restoration of two pairs of locks on the Cefn Flight at Fourteen Locks. As a direct result of the successful partnership between Newport City Council and The Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust (MBACT) over a million pounds of funding was secured from The Heritage Lottery Fund and other funding bodies for the restoration of the locks. Education was a key part of this restoration project.