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The Canal and River Trust (CRT) is a registered charity which was founded in 2012, when the responsibilities, assets, and liabilities of British Waterways were transferred to the organisation.

One of the CRT’s main roles and responsibilities is to run and maintain its network of canals and waterways, however, the charity also carries out a wide and diverse range of activities for environmental and social benefit. To operate effectively it employs around 1,600 members of staff and also relies on the work of hundreds of volunteers.

The CRT receives revenue from a range of income streams, including boat licences and moorings however it currently receives around 24% of its income from a Defra grant which is guaranteed until 2026/27. Under the terms of the 15-year Grant Agreement (PDF) a review is taking place to consider whether, and if so, to what extent there is a case to continue supporting the CRT beyond the current grant period.

A Westminster Hall debate on the ‘Future of the UK’s canals and waterways’ is scheduled to take place on 22 November 2022. 

This debate pack looks at the roles and responsibilities of the CRT and other navigation authorities. It provides details of current funding arrangements and discusses some of wider issues affecting the running and maintenance of the UK’s waterways.

Documents to download

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