National charity The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has recently published Waterways for Today, a major report is demonstrating how inland waterways can contribute to the country’s economic recovery. Although a national report, it highlights the benefits locally, including a major local restoration project near Oswestry.

One project that features prominently within the report is the restoration of the Montgomery Canal. The Montgomery restoration was awarded £13.9m from the UK Levelling Up Fund as part of a wider £15.4m bid by Powys County Council. This significant sum will support the restoration of four miles of the Montgomery Canal within Wales between Llanymynech on the border with England and Arddleen. When fully connected to the national canal network, the Montgomery Canal will unlock a range of economic and community benefits.

The benefits highlighted fall into one of four main categories, economic – where the waterways contribute to economic recovery, natural and built environment – to protect heritage for future generations, local communities – to create jobs and apprenticeships together with connecting communities and improving people’s lives – improving mental and physical health while creating a better place to live.

The IWA is a national organisation comprising over 30 branches country-wide and has a local branch covering the Shrewsbury District & North Wales area. This local branch is closely involved with a number of restoration projects, including the Montgomery Canal restoration mentioned in the report. When completed, it will provide many of the benefits highlighted in the publication.

The Waterways for Today report prove why the ongoing maintenance and regeneration of Britain’s navigable waterways is essential and also calls for another 500 miles of currently derelict waterways to be brought back into use.

To read the report, visit

To find out more about the Shrewsbury District and North Wales Branch of the IWA, visit

Picture: Redwith, Gronwen, Maesbury. On The Montgomery Canal. (Picture Credit Graham Mitchell).