The importance and potential of Wales canals to improve the prosperity of local communities was recognized at last week’s Royal Welsh Show, with a series of meetings between Welsh ministers and representatives from Glandŵr Cymru, the Canal & River Trust in Wales.
The First Minister Carwyn Jones AM highlighted the vital contribution that the Welsh waterways make to tourism in the country. He also highlighted opportunities for youth employment and community cohesion, as well their importance as part of the natural, built and cultural heritage.
He said: “Our canals are a significant part of our industrial past and cultural heritage – but they are also much more. They have huge tourism potential and can also act as catalysts for the regeneration and renewal of communities. Glandŵr Cymru’s focus on allowing people to gain valuable skills on the waterways means that there are also significant employment opportunities.”
Ken Skates AM, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, said: “I really enjoyed my visit to the Royal Welsh Show and the opportunity to talk to Glandŵr Cymru about the importance of heritage skills. From construction and maintenance works on the waterways to the needs of suppliers across Wales, the sector needs to be able to call on a range of specialized skills and people in order to function effectively. I’m keen to explore opportunities for developing construction, traditional building and rural skills to support this important industry and to making our Welsh canals and waterways a big success.”
Press Release, July 28, 2014