Welshpool Town Council has voted to move forward with a plan to improves links between the Powys town and its namesake in Canada.

At a Welshpool Town Council meeting held on November 22, councillors officially voted to begin looking into official links between Powys and its namesake in New Brunswick, Canada, potentially twinning the two communities.

The idea was submitted to the council in October 2023, from  Linda Jane James, of the Arts Council of Wales, who provided the council with an introduction to the links between the two Welshpools - one in Powys and one on the island of Campobello in Nova Scotia.

Following the presentation to the Tourism and Events Committee, the proposition was put in front of the full council who supported the initiative.


Cllr Ben Gwalchmai explained: “The brief summary is that there are links between the two towns going beyond the name. The Owens of Welshpool, to put it simply, ‘moved’ to Canada and ‘got some land’.

“We do not currently have connections with Nova Scotia’s Welshpool, but I would like to ask the council if they agree that it would be acceptable for the events committee and the external artist who contacted us in the first place, to encourage those connections through meetings.”

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The history dates back almost three hundred years, as an island on the east coast of Canada was gifted to Montgomeryshire naval officer William Owen in 1770, who renamed the island Campobello in honour of Lord William Campbell, who was Governor of Nova Scotia at the time.

The Owen family controlled the area for over a century, including Willaim Owen’s son, Rear Admiral William Fitzwilliam Owen, who became an abolitionist in the 1820s after being appalled by the ravages of the slave trade.

Cllr Alison Davies added: “It’s just through coincidence, but Welshpool high School used to have a connection to Canda and organised numerous student exchange programmes through that connection.

"Sadly it’s no longer running but I think it would be wonderful to have the opportunity to revive some international links for the town.”