Brenda Oakes has found this article on a forthcoming canal festival in the Resolven area.
Welsh Waterways Festival28.01.2011
The Neath Valley is to play host to this year's prestigious Welsh Waterways Festival.
The annual festival, which takes place over the Whitsun Bank Holiday (28th-30th May), will be held on the restored section of the Neath Canal at Ynysarwed Farm near Resolven.
It is supported this year by the Valleys Regional Park with funding from the European Regional Development Fund and the Welsh Assembly Government's Western Valleys Regeneration Programme. It forms part of the wider Valleys, Hearts and Soul campaign.
The nine kilometre length of canal is the first phase of a long term project to completely restore the Neath Canal from Glynneath to Briton Ferry and also into the Tennant Canal to Swansea Dockside and forms part of the wider regeneration plans for Neath.
The £5.2 million restoration included four locks and the building of the longest single span aqueduct (34 metres) in the UK taking the canal across the River Neath.
"The popular event is an opportunity for visitors to enjoy a beautiful rural location and to see the restoration of the canal between the villages of Aberdulais and Resolven," says Council Leader, Ali Thomas.
"Boaters will be able to travel downstream from the festival site across the aqueduct and through the locks into Neath town centre," added Councillor Thomas.
A caravan and camping site is situated nearby providing parking and temporary washing facilities for visiting caravanners and campers. There are also picnic areas along the canal bank.
"Neath Port Talbot Council is committed to working with the Neath and Tennant Canal Trust and the Neath Canal Company to encourage tourists to explore the waterways and visit the many historical attractions the Neath Valley has to offer," said Councillor Thomas.
Deputy Minister for Housing and Regeneration Jocelyn Davies AM said: "The Welsh Waterways Festival will provide an ideal opportunity for the Neath Valley to show what it has to offer both in terms of showing the local community what is on their doorstep and in encouraging visitors to the area.
"I am delighted that the Western Valleys Regeneration area and the Valleys Regional Park initiative funding has contributed to such a popular and successful event and to showcasing the improved facilities that will bring long term benefits the local community and economy."
Peter Ricketts from the Neath and Tennant Canal Trust added, "The Canals Trust formed in 1974, when the Neath and Tennant canals were only watercourses supplying water to local industry and un-navigable.
"The Trust has campaigned for their restoration to navigation to provide a recreational facility for all. We have worked closely with the canal companies and Local Authorities to achieve the amount of restoration carried out so far and to mark the achievements we applied to host the Inland Waterways Association National Trailboat Festival for 2011.
"The Trust is indebted to Neath Port Talbot Council, the Welsh Assembly and the IWA who have supported us in ensuring the forthcoming Festival is a great success."
Bob Minty of the Neath Canal Company added, "The Neath canal company who own and operate the canal are delighted to be involved in supporting this prestigious National Waterways Festival, which will enable visitors to appreciate the award winning sections of the canal below Ynysarwed and help to promote tourism through the entire Neath Valley.
"The Festival could not have proceeded without the tremendous work undertaken by Neath Port Talbot Council and the Neath and Tennant Canals Trust who both also helped to secure the funding required."