Government announce BW move to charity status by 2012
The Cabinet Office announced today that British Waterways will be replaced with a new civil society — as recommended by BW — to become in effect a 'national trust' for the waterways.
Picture by Bob Naylor
Waterways Minister, Richard Benyon said, "Our waterways are a cherished feature of the British landscape and a source of joy to many. Transferring British Waterways from Government to a charitable body will give users of the waterways a greater say in their future management and help to ensure they remain a wonderful part of our natural and cultural heritage of value to society and the economy.
"This change reflects the confidence we have that the engagement of local communities and interest groups will ensure the success of this transfer to civil society, building on the good work of British Waterways and countless waterways enthusiasts. It’s a great example of Government giving power back to the people."
BW have been promoting a move to charitable status for more than a year saying that it will attract new investment, secure jobs and give greater involvement in the running of canals and rivers to the public.
BW chairman, Tony Hales, welcomed the announcement saying, "This is excellent news and something we have been urging all political parties to support since last year".
The Government intends to have the new body up and running by April 2012 but no decision has been made yet about including the Environment Agency navigations or the Scottish canals in the new body.