Posted: Mon 4th Mar 2024

New images of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct with no water – as appeal looks to raise £10k to ‘help protect ageing structure’ for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

A £10k fundraiser has been launched to “preserve this Welsh engineering marvel, guaranteeing a memorable experience for locals and worldwide visitors who confirm their love of this attraction every year—a unique experience to share with the world and a remarkable connection to our industrial past”.

The Canal & River Trust say, “This iconic Welsh structure requires continual inspection and repair work. The passage of time and increasing popularity have taken a toll on Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, demanding significant and regular attention – particularly caring for the critical components, such as the cast iron troughs, stone pillars, handrails, and the beams supporting the towpath.

“Without intervention, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct risks losing some of its original charm and historical significance.

“Our experts periodically drain the canal water for extensive inspections and repairs to preserve the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct’s structural integrity and ensure its continued use. The process requires meticulous planning to minimise disruption and protect the ecosystem, including a fish rescue operation. We go above and beyond to safeguard aquatic habitats during our essential work as part of our commitment to protect wildlife.

“While our work will focus on fixing the issues we know about, it’s also an opportunity to learn more about the structure and create more comprehensive and lasting solutions. Your support is crucial for immediate repairs and to address urgent needs that arise during the process to ensure the future of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

“We also need to enhance the towpath’s surface and conduct essential works on the supports (‘ledgers’) to make this unique experience for walkers and cyclists even more captivating along this extraordinary towpath across the River Dee valley in North Wales.

“The handrails and railing uprights on Pontcysyllte Aqueduct also require attention. Delicate work, performed by highly skilled blacksmiths, is essential to maintain their historical essence.

“This ageing structure costs £150,000 a year to keep in the best condition for boats and people alike. This includes planned preventative work and routine inspections. Beyond these structural enhancements, our efforts to preserve this important piece of heritage piece also creates a sense of pride and engagement within the local community.”

The charity note “We need your help to raise £10,000 to accomplish the work needed in the next three months after the inspection works”.

The fundraiser can be found here.

The appeal comes as several superb drone shots have been shared by Carl Edwards, who kindly tweeted them @Wrexham :

The Canal and River Trust is a UK Charity facing a UK Government decision to reduce its funding commitment from 2027 onwards. The organisation’s latest financials can be viewed here, that also detail several people paid over £150k and a Chief Exec package of £224,503.

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