Wednesday, September 15, 2010

K&A Canal Trust cash crisis
Cash strapped Trust makes General Manager part time, cuts staff and launches a new fundraising drive in a desperate bid to balance the books

K&A Canal Trust Treasurer, Neil Lethby  
Picture by Bob Naylor
By Bob Naylor
At a K&A Canal Trust Council meeting last week the departure of the chairman who had been in post for less than nine months was announced — and Treasurer, Neil Lethby, told Trustees that extreme measures must be taken to try to reverse the Trust's deepening financial crisis.

For the past five successive years the Trust has made huge financial losses — and the forecast is that without drastic measures it will not break-even this year.

A survival strategy was agreed by Trust Council that involves the General Manager working part-time, the warden and shop/cafĂ© manager at Crofton not being replaced when they leave later this year and the Trust Honorary Magazine Editor, Alan Whitewick, taking responsibility for fundraising at least £1000 a month. He aims to recruit a team that will include two members from each of the Trust's seven branches to run this fundraising campaign so that the K&A Canal Trust can fulfill its mission to protect, enhance and promote the waterway.

Trust General Manager, Mike Rodd
Picture by Bob Naylor
This new fundraising initiative comes less than a year after the Trust launched Membership Plus, a major fundraising campaign headed up by Trustee Terry Kemp that set an ambitious target of raising £100,000 from contributions and by recruiting new members. 

The K&A Canal Trust's financial problems have come to a head at a time when British Waterways has formed a partnership with the Trust to run a pilot scheme on the K&A for its plans to become a 3rd Sector organisation.  

BW aims to become what would in effect be a 'national trust for the waterways' — with greater involvement from local communities and organisations in the running of the country's canals and rivers and a greater emphasis on volunteer labour for maintenance.

David Rees, the recently departed K&A Canal Trust Chairman, was to have headed up the Local Waterways Partnership that will run the K&A Canal.

The Partnership meets for the first time in two weeks time and the pilot scheme will run for 18 months with meetings every six to eight weeks at locations along the K&A Canal. 

Previous related story: Resignation setback for BW's 'Third Way' plans

1 comment:

  1. Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!