A Welshpool businessman has stepped in to help with an urgently needed renovation to Welshpool’s canal footbridge.  

As Welshpool Town Council have spent over a year attempting to raise funds for a full scale renovation of a well-used footbridge over Montgomery canal on Berriew Road, obtaining a £2,500 grant from Powys County Council, last week they received an “out of the blue” phone call from businessman James Potter.

Mr Potter, owner of waste recycling centre Potters on Severn Road, offered to pay the outstanding amount for the full restoration.

Cllr Nick Howells, who received the phone call, said: “What a fantastic and generous gesture and donation to the Town and it's people.

“The bridge has served our community for decades and thanks to James, following the full restoration, will serve us for many decades to come.”


As part of the campaign to restore the bridge, Cllr Howells had previously drafted a letter and requested corporate sponsorship from major companies around Welshpool earlier this year, but said he was left “quite despondent” with the lack of response.

Mr Potter’s donation arrives after several temporary repairs on the bridge have been carried out, as it was criticised by some Welshpool residents for its deteriorating condition, with broken wooden panels highlighting the lack of maintenance, as well as its accessibility proving difficult to for people with mobility issues.

The council identified the issues and regarded renovating the bridge as a matter of urgency, with the footbridge serving as a well-used route to Maes-y-Dre Recreation Ground and Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng.

Two emergency repairs were carried out over the last twelve months, one by a local Construction company as an act of goodwill and a second, more robust interim repair, organised by operations manager Paul McGrath at minimal cost, to make it safe whilst attempts were made to raise the £13,000 needed for a full restoration.

Repair attempts were also delayed by a dispute over which public group owned the bridge and would be responsible for any repairs, between the town council, Powys County Council and the Canal and Rivers Trust.

At a previous meeting, Cllr Richard Church said: “From my enquiries I have leaned that it was built over 60 years ago by a kind donation, but no public authority will take responsibility for it.

“It needs to be repaired and the town cannot allow it to be lost.”