THE Lord Mayor of Birmingham Carl Rice was welcomed to Rhayader and the Elan Valley last Friday providing him with a chance to see where his city’s tap water comes from and how it gets there.
Cllr Rice and his Lady Mayoress Deed Curry were welcomed by members of the Elan Links Landscape Partnership at Rhayader Museum and Gallery before going on to tour the Elan Valley in support of the exciting new project.
Peter Cox, a former trustee at the Museum, set the scene by explaining the history of the museum and the building as well as the links that were established with Birmingham when it was redeveloped 15 years ago. Through the Elan Links project it is hoped that these links with Birmingham will be reinvigorated.
Rhayader’s own town mayor, Clare Evans spoke about the inextricable links between Rhayader and Birmingham and the need to keep them alive in recognition of the huge impact of the building of the dams for both communities.
“What a wonderful opportunity, in what is one of my final engagements as mayor, to welcome you to Rhayader and the Elan Valley. I’m sure you will marvel and enjoy the wonderful feat of Victorian engineering that is the network of the dams and reservoirs, as well as the sheer beauty of landscape,” said Cllr Evans.
The Lord Mayor and his party were also introduced to representatives from the partnership, before touring the Elan and Claerwen valleys to learn more about the 27 projects which will be implemented under the Elan Links partnership, learning more about the different strands from the representatives present, including Alan Samuel for Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Andrew Leonard and Charlotte Harley from Elan Valley Trust, Leila Sharland from Tir Coed and Noel Hughes from Severn Trent.
At the end of the visit Andrew Leonard, trustee for Elan Valley Trust and lead partner on the Elan Links project, presented the mayor with a gift of a framed print of Elan saying that he hoped the foundations were laid for further links in the future.
The Elan Links: People, Nature and Water Landscape Partnership project is led by Elan Valley Trust and is nearing the end of its development year that will be followed by a five-year programme starting this October.
Elan Links is a £3.3 million project with a significant £1.8 million secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnership Scheme. The project programme not only focuses in the local area but will be developing strong links between this upland area at the heart of the Cambrian Mountains in Mid Wales and Birmingham because of a history of supplying clean water to households and businesses for more than 100 years.
The Lord Mayor also accepted an invitation to visit Nantmel with County Councillor Kelvyn Curry to co-incide with the launch of the three-metre wide tunnelling machine starting work on the next stage of the Birmingham Resilience Project, an investment of around £300million and the biggest project Severn Trent Water has ever done.
It’s the second of three bypass tunnels being built for the Elan Valley Aqueduct that brings water from Wales to Birmingham every day.
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