GWENT lotto winner Les Scadding rolled up his sleeves to help restore an historic canal waterway in Cwmbran yesterday.

Mr Scadding, who scooped £45.5million in the Euromillions lottery in 2009, was among a handful of Welsh winners to give up their time to join a restoration project on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal at Llantarnam.

He was taking part in the Waterworks project-led by Torfaen Council and the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny Canals Trust. The project has received £845,500 of Heritage Lottery Fund support.

Among the tasks they carried out were cutting back vegetation, repainting stonework, building lock gates and cleaning and painting a canal work boat.

Mr Scadding, a former mechanic and lorry driver of Newport, learned some new skills cutting mortice and tenon joints in the balance beams for a pair of new timber lock gates.

Richard Dommett, regeneration manager at the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal Trust, said:“We find that volunteers never fail to recognise the potential that the canal restoration brings to local communities, contributing positively to the economic, social regeneration and the conservation of the communities’ local heritage.”

Leader of Torfaen Council, Councillor Bob Wellington said: “The canal is an important part of the heritage of south Wales, and a huge asset to Cwmbran. Its restoration will play a major role in the regeneration of the area and when it is complete it will be a valuable asset for both residents and visitors to enjoy.”