Boost to funds for canal restoration project

A project to restore a historic canal has received a £3,000 donation.

The Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch of The Inland Waterways Association has donated the money towards the ongoing restoration of Wappenshall Wharf in Telford.

The restoration work is being carried out by Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust (SNCT) which is hoping to be able to open the smaller wharf building as a coffee shop in the autumn.

Both buildings are grade II listed and date back to 1835 and 1838, when Wappenshall Junction became an important and busy interchange between the Shrewsbury Canal and the Newport Branch of the Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal, now known as a part of the Shropshire Union.

Since the closure of the Shrewsbury and Newport canals, the site has been used as a coal yard and by a truck repair business before it was taken over by SNCT which applied for planning permission to restore the site in 2008.

It is now owned by Telford and Wrekin Council and leased to SNCT on a 125-year lease to maintain and restore the buildings.

The donation of £3000 by the local IWA branch enabled the trust to buy a much-needed scaffolding tower to help with the restoration work.

Bernie Jones, chairman of SNCT, said: "This grant was great news to the SNCT Project Team, because obtaining funding in the present climate was extremely challenging. The scaffold tower has already been incredibly useful as without it the timber work on the restored roof could not have been completed. It will also be vital when the team move on to re-point the external brickwork.”

Michael Haig, chairman of the Shrewsbury District and North Wales Branch of IWA, added: "The warehouses are significant heritage structures, and IWA fully supports their restoration for the education and benefit of future generations. We’re looking forward to the time when the site is once again a busy local hub, albeit with a different purpose than in its original heyday.”

Date: 21 March 2019 | Source: Shropshire Star

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