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Waterways Trust

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 13th June 2011.

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Photo of Tristram Hunt Tristram Hunt Labour, Stoke-on-Trent Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure that the British Waterways Charitable Trust will receive adequate funding to maintain its inland waterways network.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The majority of funding for British Waterways comes from its commercial activities and through its licensing operations. During the last spending review period, grant contributed between 30% and 35% of British Waterways' revenue which is spent on the waterways in England and Wales.

In the current, tough fiscal environment, the Government will give the new waterways charity the best possible start. It has already committed to transfer BW's commercial property portfolio and committed to long-term funding at the 2014-15 level (£39 million) to 2022-23 inclusive. The terms and conditions of the funding will be subject to negotiation with the recently appointed trustees of the new waterways charity.

Making British Waterways a charitable company creates new opportunities for growing income from private and commercial sources, making efficiencies and forming supportive partnerships. The charity will also be able to borrow against its assets and so expand income in the longer term.

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