The work by volunteers from Swansea Canal Society has seen a previously in-filled section of the waterway in Clydach become a water-filled mooring basin.
The newly completed basin was flooded for the first time on Friday (6 October) in an event
attended by funders and project supporters from across the community.
Also unveiled was a new launching ramp for use by canoeists, and a by-wash water channel that will maintain canal water levels.
The canal society said that the work was made possible thanks to the Welsh Government “Brilliant Basics” programme administered by Visit Wales and with additional grants from
Swansea Council, Postcode Community Fund, Glandwr Cymru and the Canoe Foundation.
Guests saw how work is progressing on formerly derelict retail premises that are being transformed into a canal centre and a new community asset.
Councillor Gordon Walker, Chair of Swansea Canal Society, said: “The Society is grateful for the funding to complete the first phase of reopening the Canal through the Clydach Lock site. This will help to link Clydach town centre to the delightful canal corridor where people can enjoy healthy recreational activities.
“If further funding can be secured, the buried lock on the site will be fully reinstated so boats can once again travel into the town. Swansea Canal Society volunteers are keen to continue working closely with Swansea Council and Glandwr Cymru the owners of the canal, so the Swansea Canal at Clydach can be developed as a major new visitor destination.”
Rebecca Evans Member of the the Senedd for Gower, said: “Swansea Canal Society has done amazing work over the years, breathing new life into this important part of our heritage, and there is no stopping their ambition.
“This latest development has been made possible partly through the Welsh Government’s £10m Brilliant Basics fund, which helps public, third sector, and not-for-profit organisations deliver small scale tourism infrastructure improvements which have a big impact, helping ensure that visitors to Wales have a positive and memorable experience – and of course, delivering improvements that local residents can enjoy all year round.”
Councillor Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said: “As the council drives the city’s £1bn regeneration programme, the canal improvements will help lay the foundations for future job and visitor opportunities.
“We’re delighted to have contributed £22,000 from our economic recovery fund towards phase one of this fantastic canal project.
“This support is helping the canal society bring new greenery to the local environment and make further improvements.
“We’re also pleased to have helped deliver more than £210,000 in funding – including from the Welsh Government Transforming Towns programme – to purchase and complete the Swansea Canal Centre building.
“We plan to offer funding for the scheme’s exciting second phase as well – and we aim to make an announcement on that in the near future.
“It’s great that the canal scheme will allow more leisure activities for people of all abilities on Swansea Canal, plus more opportunities for volunteering, education and community use.
“It’ll help make Swansea a more attractive place to visit and in which to live – and will boost our tourism trade which is now worth more than £500m to the local economy.”
Mark Evans, director of Glandŵr Cymru, said: “The regeneration of this infilled section of the Swansea Canal is another exciting step forward in the restoration of a waterway rich in history and which continues to play an important role in the Swansea Valley today.
“We value our strong relationship with Swansea Canal Society and are delighted to have supported the new canal basin which is set to bring huge benefits to the local community and the people who have access to the canal all-year round.
“This stage of the restoration draws attention to the exciting future of the canal and the importance for us to keep canals alive so they can go on to be enjoyed by many future generations to come.”
(Lead image: Swansea Canal Society)
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