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Milestone reached in Swansea canal regeneration

Guests at Canal Society event.

Swansea Canal Society has reached a major milestone in its work to regenerate the historic Swansea Canal.

After several years of work by volunteers and supporters, a previously infilled section of the waterway in Clydach has become a water-filled mooring basin.

It flooded for the first time on Friday in an event attended by funders and project supporters, including the council.

Also unveiled was a launching ramp for use by canoeists, and a by-wash water channel that will maintain canal water levels.

The work was made possible thanks to the Welsh Government Brilliant Basics programme administered by Visit Wales, with additional grants from Swansea Council, the Postcode Community Fund, Glandwr Cymru and the Canoe Foundation.

Friday’s guests also saw how work is progressing on formerly derelict retail premises that are being transformed into a canal centre and a vibrant community asset.

Credit: Swansea Council

Council leader Cllr Rob Stewart 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.

“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.”

Canal Society chair Cllr Gordon Walker said: “We’re 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.”

Gower MS Rebecca Evans said: “The canal society has done amazing work over the years, breathing new life into this important part of our heritage.”

Glandŵr Cymru director Mark Evans said: “The regeneration of this infilled section of the canal is another exciting step forward in the restoration of a waterway rich in history.”