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Funding to restore historic Swansea Canal into 'visitor destination'

Credit: Canal & River Trust

Over £300,000 of funding has been announced to regenerate a historic Swansea Canal into a major visitor destination.

The Swansea Canal was opened in 1796. The whole length of 16 and a half miles was completed by 1798. Today only five miles of the canal is still in water, from Clydach to Pontardawe and from Pontardawe to Ynysmeudwy.

Credit: Swansea Canal Society

The regeneration work is due to start in Autumn.

Over 6,700 cubic metres of silt will be removed from the channel to allow Swansea Canal Society to operate a trip boat, while volunteers will undertake a number of repairs.

Glandŵr Cymru said it will create "new opportunities" for people to exercise and learn skills.

It's exciting to see what impact further improving the Swansea Canal can have for the Swansea Valley and surrounding area.

We have seen from other areas that when we can bring a canal back into use then it can have huge benefits to local economies, as well as creating new opportunities for people to exercise and learn skills.

– Richard Thomas, Glandŵr Cymru

The funding is the first part of a ten-year vision to establish the canal as a premier heritage, visitor and leisure destination.

It is estimated that the project could help to generate up to £500,000 for the visitor economy each year across the region.

60%
of the adult population of Wales would like to visit "the outdoors" more often.

Swansea Council's cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, Robert Francis-Davies, said the regeneration will have an important role in the area's "future success".

Glandŵr Cymru - the Canal & River Trust in Wales - and the Swansea Canal Society, secured the Rural Community Development Funding (RCDF) with the support of the Rural Development Programme teams in Neath Port Talbot Council and Swansea Council.