I recently made a number of visits across Montgomeryshire alongside our Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, including to Greg and Dawn Pickstock’s Farm at Llanfechain; Montgomery Waters in Churchstoke; and Monty’s Brewery in Montgomery, writes Craig Williams MP.

A highlight was our visit to Welshpool’s Canal Wharf to discuss the very exciting plans to restore and reconnect the Montgomery Canal to the national network.

I am delighted that we have a funding bid currently with the UK Government as part of the Levelling Up Fund - reopening the canal is a massive opportunity for Montgomeryshire’s economy, as I recently highlighted to the Prime Minister during PMQs.

Boris termed it a “beautiful plan” and it certainly is.

We also welcomed the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heritage Rail to Montgomeryshire, visiting the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway.

It was brilliant to be able to show the group’s members one of mid Wales’ most popular visitor attractions, which is served so well by the railway’s superb volunteers and everyone involved within its organisation.

We also discussed the importance of retaining coal for heritage railways.

Last week we were also visited by Conservative Party Chair, Amanda Milling MP, who visited the Chartists 1770 restaurant at the Trewythen Hotel in Llanidloes.

The recently opened restaurant and hotel is operated by Cambrian Training Company.

We met with Cambrian Training CEO Arwyn Watkins to discuss training and skills within Mid Wales, and new opportunities for apprentices in conjunction with the UK Government’s Kickstart programme.

With organisations like Cambrian Training locally, we are very well served in delivering skills and training.

These visits underline that Montgomeryshire is central to the UK Government’s plans for a more visible and active role in Wales, through such funding programmes as the Mid Wales Growth Deal and the Levelling Up Fund.

Such initiatives will bring real investment, real growth and real jobs to our vibrant communities.