Montgomery Canal receives £160,000 from Heritage Lottery Fund
A project to help restore a 200-year-old canal which crosses the Wales-England border has received £160,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Montgomery Canal Partnership wants to refurbish bridges, improve towpaths and reopen 2km of the canal, which runs between Powys and Shropshire.
The money will enable Glandwr Cymru, the Canal and River Trust in Wales, to develop a larger bid of £3.7m from HLF.
Glandwr Cymru said the project would help bring the waterway back to life.
It said the scheme would also preserve rare natural habitats found along its course.
The ultimate aim is to fully restore the entire 33-mile (53km) length of the canal as only parts of it are navigable by narrow boat.
Glandwr Cymru chief executive Richard Parry said: "The Montgomery Canal is one of the most beautiful waterways in Britain.
"Whilst much of it can be enjoyed today, the goal of fully restoring it has been kept alive for decades by the tireless work of volunteers.
"We are delighted to be awarded this development funding. It is another big step towards the canal's full restoration and allows us to complete our application to the HLF for the full £3.7m grant."
It follows a £1m investment to transform around 14 miles (23km) of the towpath between Newtown and Welshpool through a partnership between the Welsh government, Glandwr Cymru, Powys County Council and Sustrans.