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    Posted 10 May 2002

    SHROPSHIRE'S University College is to throw its weight behind an ambitious project to restore the Shrewsbury and Newport Canal, part of which runs through Harper Adams' land.

    Mr Brian Nelson, Trustee of the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust, addressed a well-attended meeting of staff and students at Harper Adams University College, near Newport, last week.

    In a bid to raise awareness of, and enthusiasm for, the project, Mr Nelson pointed out the economic significance to the rural community of this development - including employment opportunities, increased leisure and tourism, an improved environment and positive effects on nearby house prices.

    In March, British Waterways unveiled a £500 million restoration and development programme covering more than 300 miles of UK canals and waterways. Two phases of work for this programme have already been mapped out but Mr Nelson said the Trust had high hopes that the Shrewsbury & Newport Canal restoration might benefit from British Waterways' investment in future phases.

    Harper Adams, the UK's largest institution of Higher Education for the land and food-based industries, has now become a corporate member of the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust and is looking forward to actively supporting the project - initially by encouraging staff and students to show their support and take individual membership.

    Staff at the University College also hope that the restoration, and many of the smaller projects which will contribute to the finished waterway, will provide ideal case studies for students.

    "We were very pleased indeed to have Brian Nelson come and speak to us," said Richard Jopling, Head of Marketing & Liaison at Harper Adams University College.

    "This is an important project for all of us in the rural community and we need to get behind it 100 per cent.

    "As the top university college, offering degrees and postgraduate qualifications in areas such as Countryside Management, Environmental Science, Engineering Design and Development, Rural Leisure and Tourism and Business Management, this is just the sort of development we want to encourage on our own patch."


    Caption: (L-R) Richard Jopling, Head of Marketing & Liaison at Harper Adams University College greets Brian Nelson, Trustee of the Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust.

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