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23  July

James Potter to the rescue!

08/07/2024 @ 10:04


Local businessman James Potter has stepped in to ensure a vital pedestrian bridge will remain open for the long term.

Welshpool Town Council has been at a crossroads trying to ensure the canal bridge linking Oldford with Maesydre remained open after it was deemed to be a health and safety hazard earlier this year.

Two lots of remedial repairs were carried out to ensure it remained open, but a survey revealed that major work was needed this summer at a cost of nearly £13,000.

Former Mayor Nick Howells, frustrated that no public body had taken responsibility for the bridge and with the backing of current Mayor, Cllr Phil Owen, sent letters to local businesses asking for help.

And this morning, he has confirmed that Mr Potter has come to the rescue, pledging to fund the shortfall after Powys County Council offered £2,500.

“It has been extremely frustrating,” said Cllr Howells, who is also Chair of the Services and Property Committee. “We’ve had several meetings and discussions regarding the condition of the bridge with none of the relevant organisations wishing to accept ownership or responsibility, so as a matter of public safety, Welshpool Town Council decided to go it alone.”

We previously reported how Cllr Howells was “feeling despondent” having had no positive replies to his letters, but, out of the blue, he received a phone call from Mr Potter. 

“What a fantastic and generous gesture and donation to the town and it’s people,” exclaimed Cllr Howells.

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

The work is expected to be carried out during the schools’ summer holiday.