Over £320,000 Confirmed to Transform Swansea Canal
It has been confirmed that over £320,000 will go towards the regeneration of the historic Swansea Canal, in a 10-year project to establish it as a premier heritage, visitor and leisure destination.
The Rural Community Development Funding (RCDF) was secured by Glandŵr Cymru, which is the Canal and River Trust in Wales. This charity cares for canals and it will work with the Swansea Canal Society and Swansea Council and Neath Port Talbot Council to turn Swansea Canal into something Families and Visitors are going to Enjoy and Benefit from.
Regeneration of Swansea Canal
The Swansea Canal was opened in 1796 and the whole length of 16.5 miles was completed by 1798. Today however only five miles of the canal is still in water and these areas are from Clydach to Pontardawe and from Pontardawe to Ynysmeudwy.
There are loads of changes planned for the Swansea Canal and one of the main elements of planned transformation will be the dredging of almost a mile of the canal, between Coed Gwilym Park in Clydach and Trebanos, which is due to start in the autumn of 2019.
This dredging will see more than 6,700 cubic metres of silt removed, which is equivalent to more than 8,300 bathtubs! The reason that this will be done is so to enable Swansea Canal Society to operate a trip boat as well as improving the canoeing sessions that they already on offer.
This regeneration project will also deliver a programme of conservation repairs and will require help from volunteers to renovate the historic structures, reinforce banks and undertake other tasks including work to protect biodiversity.
The Funding to Transform Swansea Canal
This over £320,000 funding is actually only going to cover the first part of a fantastic 10-year project that is being done to establish Swansea canal as a premier heritage, visitor and leisure destination. Although on the flip side, it is estimated that the whole project could help to generate up to £500,000 for the visitor economy each year across the region.
Glandŵr Cymru director Richard Thomas said: “It’s hugely exciting to see what impact further improving the Swansea Canal can have for the Swansea Valley and surrounding area. When we can bring a canal back into use it can have huge benefits to local economies, as well as creating new opportunities for people to exercise and learn skills.”
Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “We were delighted to help the Glandŵr Cymru with this funding application. Swansea is undergoing major regeneration – and projects such as making the Swansea Canal more accessible will have an important role to play in the area’s future success.”
Swansea Canal Society chair Gordon Walker said: “It is excellent news that all the hard work by Swansea Canal Society volunteers has been recognised with this RCDF grant. The work will directly benefit the community and the local economy.”
The Rural Community Development Funding (RCDF) that has been received for this project is funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.