Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal
The restoration of the Mon & Brec Canal for navigational use from its current terminus at Five Locks Cwmbran to Newport, and from Newport to Cwmcarn, is a priority for the Monmouthshire Brecon & Abergavenny Canals Trust.
The current restoration project is mainly based around maintaining the work already completed through the HLF Waterworks project at Ty Coch, while other trust volunteers are supporting the maintenance groundwork staff of Newport City Council along the Fourteen Locks and Allt-yr-yr section of waterway. Funding is now being sought to proceed with the second phase of development projects at Ty Coch to create a Waterway Park.
Trust volunteers have spent the best part of the last decade acquiring, refitting and preparing the new community trip-boat The Lord Raglan, which has utilised much of the trusts resources, both human and financial. The vessel will be fully operational during the early part of 2020.
New investment in canal visitor facilities are in progress by both Torfaen and Caerphilly councils, supported by the canals regeneration partnership. New facilities are to be installed at Five Locks Cwmbran, plus toilets and a café at Pontymoile Basin. A much-needed dredging programme between Bridge 56 (Squires Bridge) and Five Locks Cwmbran is being undertaken by CRT and Torfaen County Borough Council. The towpath throughout the Torfaen and Caerphilly section of canal has recently been resurfaced.
The resolve of the trust staff and volunteers operating the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre must be commended for their persistence in bringing new events, sales and a friendly presence for all visitors. The Fourteen Locks Café at Newport and the Green Flute Café at Goytre Wharf are welcoming stop-offs for visitors and local people with their varied menus of home-cooked food.