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Transfer of Environment Agency navigations to new waterways charity

Published on Monday 28 February 2011 at 12:09pm

In a Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament today, Minister for Inland Waterways Richard Benyon announced that the Government has decided the Environment Agency’s navigations (waterways) should transfer to a new waterways charity, similar to the National Trust.

On 14 October 2010, the Government announced that British Waterways in England and Wales would move from a public corporation to the new charity.

The Government will shortly consult on proposals to transfer the Environment Agency’s navigations to the new charity in 2015/16 during the next Spending Review period as part of the consultation on setting up the new waterways charity. Any transfer would be subject to the agreement of the charity’s Trustees and only occur if it was affordable to do so. In 2014, the performance of the new charity will be reviewed and options considered for the transfer of the navigations.

Notes to Editors

1. British Waterways is a cross-border public corporation which is responsible for approximately 3,000 km of waterways, of which about three quarters are canals. The Environment Agency manages almost 1,000 km of waterways, most of which are navigable rivers. The two bodies are therefore responsible for around 75% of the 5000 km of waterways in England and Wales.

2. The Government will shortly launch a consultation on setting up the new charity in which will set out proposals on governance, scope and funding arrangements. It is intended that the charity will be set up in April 2012.

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