Organisers of the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal have raised more than £95,000 in three months following generous donations from supporters.
A substantial donation from an anonymous family company has been added to online donations, cheques and cash in collecting buckets to boost the £250,000 appeal. The company is hoping other businesses will follow its lead.
Appeal chairman Michael Limbrey said: “There are only two miles of dry canal left in Shropshire and volunteers of the Shropshire Union Canal Society have already started to restore the next half mile.
“The last section was restored with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The appeal we launched in June will provide the experienced work parties with vital materials and equipment. Without public donations, the volunteers may have to stop.
“We are particularly delighted that a private company has given £25,000 to the appeal in the hope that other businesses will follow its example.”
A representative for the company, which wishes to remain anonymous, said: “We have been so impressed by the work of the volunteers in the restoration to date. We welcome the huge benefits which restoration will bring to the community in terms of economic regeneration, wellbeing - both physical and mental health - towpath use and improvements to the built and natural world heritage.
“This donation is coming from our Corporate Social Responsibility budget and we hope other companies will follow our lead.”
Mr Limbrey added: “In Powys, the Government’s Levelling-Up Fund is supporting an amazing programme of works which will bring nearer the day when the canal is fully open from Welshpool to the Shropshire border at Llanymynech.
“There will be new bridges, a revived canal channel and new nature reserves to safeguard valuable wildlife. But that still leaves the Shropshire Gap, those two miles of derelict canal.
“Donations to the appeal have been from £5 to £1,000 and many donors have added Gift Aid which makes a welcome 25% increase in the value of the gift. These donations show how much local communities and supporters across the country value the Montgomery Canal as a special part of the canal network.
“The reopened canal through the borderlands of Shropshire and Mid Wales will be a great amenity for recreation and conservation which can help to make this a more attractive area to visit, live and work.”
Donations can be made online at https://localgiving.org/appeal/MontgomeryCanal or can be sent to Restore the Montgomery Canal!, Tixall Lodge, Stafford ST18 0XS.
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