The canal is a key feature of Newport. It’s a beautiful, tranquil space cutting across the north of the town. It is teeming with wildlife and is maintained and improved by a group of dedicated volunteers.
Those volunteers are members of the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust, which has the overall aim of restoring and reopening the historic canals, linking Newport back up to Norbury Junction in Staffordshire and to Shrewsbury, via Telford, to the west.
The Trust is committed to this aim because the case for reopening waterways is clear and strong; they bring both social and economic benefits to an area. A canal becomes a green corridor through the countryside along which residents can stroll, walk the dog, go for a run, paddle a boat or canoe, even have a narrowboat or cruiser to mess about on the waterways.
It also provides an environment for children to learn about nature and to reconnect them to our country’s hugely important industrial past.
In the process of providing these social benefits the canal will create wealth for our town and wider county. Visiting narrowboats require services and their users will want to eat in our pubs and restaurants, shop in our stores, refuel, empty their tanks, you name it. Entrepreneurs will see opportunities to serve these needs in new ways too.
A whole new audience will be welcomed into Newport via this environmentally-friendly transport connection, whether from the west on boats or from our county town as runners, walkers, cyclists and paddlers.
When you consider it that way, you have to ask, why not?
How to revive a canal
The Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Trust has a plan. It knows how it would reopen the canal, including engineering solutions to deal with the new roads which now straddle the old route. To bring this vision to life it is focusing on the restoration of Thomas Telford’s Wappenshall Wharf, near Apley in Telford, as a visitor centre and a hub from where life can be breathed into the wider project. Achieving that is proving hard work, but they don’t give up!
Robert Nicholas Financial Providers has signed up as a corporate member of the Trust and made a donation to its fundraising efforts because we believe the canal would be nothing but a huge benefit to this town and this county and we with them every success with achieving the aim of bringing it back into full use.
We would like to urge other businesses to consider becoming a corporate member too. You can do it from as little as £20 per year – you only have to give a bit more if you want to. Every company that supports the Trust is another vote of confidence in its work and a signal that the community wants to see it succeed. And when you join, you could shout about it too, to help spread the word!
You can find out more and download a membership form at http://cms.snct.co.uk/membership
Watch the short video below to find out, in the words of the chairman, Bernie Jones, what company support means to the Trust…