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Funding deal reached for Canal & River Trust

It's clear that the Canal & River Trust transition trustees have reached a deal on future funding of the waterways, with a statement (below) issued over the weekend by Defra. It says that the amount promised will be 'significantly more' than the annual £39 million originally announced, spread over 15 years, rather than the 10 years previously stated. The details are expected to come this week. 

The Defra statement doesn't mention boats and navigation in the announcement, nor is there yet an announcement on the official launch of the Trust.  

Defra statement:  

This week, Environment Minister Richard Benyon is expected to reveal an unprecedented fifteen year funding settlement for the new Canal & River Trust - a new “national trust” for the waterways in England and Wales.

In order to provide financial security for the future of the waterways and help the new Trust get off to the best possible start, Defra has already committed to provide a £460 million property endowment and £390 million funding for the next 10 years.

The figure announced next week is likely to be significantly more than this.

Responsibility for Britain’s canals and rivers will be transferred from British Waterways to the new Canal & River Trust later this year. The new Trust will give local communities and stakeholders a greater role in caring for our network of 200-year old canals and rivers. 

It will be able to harness the support of thousands of supporters and volunteers, allowing it to save money and putting decision-making into the hands of people who use and cherish the waterways the most. 

This will facilitate the maintenance and restoration of 2,000 miles of heritage sites, wildlife habitats and open spaces along our waterways. 

The Canal & River Trust’s charitable status will mean new opportunities for revenue through donations, charitable grants and legacies, increased borrowing powers, efficiencies and volunteering activity.

A record 13 million people currently visit British Waterways’ canals and rivers every year, and over half the population lives within about ten minutes of a waterway.

Monday 30 January  | Andrew Denny  | 11.19am, Monday 30 January 2012

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