The 120m blockage at Clydach where the Swansea Canal is diverted underground (known as the Hidden Lock Site) is now ready for restoration. This section, used as a highways depot by the City and County of Swansea from 1973, was generously donated to the Swansea Canal Society by them. Funding has been obtained, Swansea Council has given planning permission and work will start in 2022 to create a mooring basin and a bywash around the restored Clydach Lock.
Working in partnership with Glandwr Cymru, the society will restore both the buried lock and the surface route to navigable use. Swansea Council has donated stone, recovered from demolished walls elsewhere, for use in the lock restoration. Between Covid lockdowns, SCS volunteers also added new plants to the wildlife garden in the site and built a retaining wall around it using the donated stone.
A similar stone wall was built by SCS volunteers around the society’s canoe store garden in Coed Gwilym Park, Clydach. Near the canoe store, work continues to create access to the planned new slipway for trailable boats. This project should be completed in 2022.
Dredging of the section of the canal from Coed Gwilym Park south to Pont John Bridge is now being undertaken by Glandwr Cymru contractors while towpath resurfacing continues alongside the canal in Trebanos and Clydach. Three new towpath benches have been erected by SCS volunteers near Trebanos Locks.
All the foregoing improvements will enhance the canal environment for the existing canoe and paddleboard hire project, which had a tremendous season in the summer of 2021.
In 2021 SCS purchased a derelict commercial building in Clydach overlooking the canal. The building will be renovated with a new pitched roof and it will become the Clydach Canal Centre. Structural and topographical surveys have been commissioned and the adjacent land has been cleared. A mural depicting a canal barge, a bridge and horse will be painted on the boundary wall.
The long-term vision of joining up the Swansea, Neath and Tennant canals through the Tawe River Navigation to form a 35-mile waterway is actively promoted by the Swansea Bay Inland Waterway Partnership.