CRT de­fends prop­erty in sale row


Canal Boat - - News -

THE CANAL & RIVER TRUST has de­fended the de­ci­sion of its jointly owned prop­erty de­vel­op­ment part­ner­ship ISIS Water­side Re­gen­er­a­tion LLP to of­fer canal­side prop­erty at Birm­ing­ham’s War­wick Bar for sale to po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ers, af­ter com­plaints from ten­ants that the sale was be­ing done with­out their knowl­edge and CRT was ‘un­eth­i­cally’ by­pass­ing char­i­ties leg­is­la­tion in do­ing so.

The 21 small busi­nesses cur­rently rent their premises (in old in­dus­trial build­ings in a con­ser­va­tion area by the Dig­beth Branch of the Birm­ing­ham & Fazeley) on short leases from ISIS, which in turn holds a long lease from booked in rep­re­sent­ing all three main boat share man­age­ment com­pa­nies – BCBM, Care­free Cruis­ing and Ow­nashare – with the show’s or­gan­is­ers con­fi­dent of the num­ber ris­ing to at least 20 boats by the time the event takes place on 23-24 April. Two brand new boats are due to be launched.

An­drew Coo­ley of in­de­pen­dent web­site boat­ which sup­ports the show pointed out that over 30 shares changed hands at last year’s show, rep­re­sent­ing “a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of the 200 or so shares we know to be on of­fer at the mo­ment”. free­holder CRT. It is this long lease that is be­ing of­fered for sale: the new owner will de­cide whether and for how long those short leases are re­newed; some ten­ants are wor­ried they will be ‘off site within six months’.

A CRT spokesman told CB that it was not for the Trust to de­cide if the prop­erty is sold, or who it is sold to and for what sum; it was a mat­ter for ISIS and the de­ci­sion would be made in the best in­ter­ests of ISIS to gen­er­ate in­come for its own­ers – in­clud­ing CRT. He added that the prop­erty had al­ways been re­garded as a de­vel­op­ment site, that it was only the eco­nomic down­turn which had pre­vented it hap­pen­ing some years ago and the space let out on short leases while the econ­omy re­cov­ered. gain­ing skills by work­ing on six wa­ter­way restora­tion projects around the coun­try. The ini­tia­tive will be sup­ported by the Wa­ter­way Re­cov­ery Group which has of­fered places on its canal camps and ad­vised CRT on set­ting up its own vol­un­teer camps.

Help for He­roes’ Su­san Turn­bull ex­plained that: “Leav­ing the mil­i­tary and find­ing a new di­rec­tion can be daunting es­pe­cially for those who are liv­ing with life-chang­ing in­juries,” but that this pro­ject would “help de­velop new skills that will set them on the path for a new and pur­pose­ful ca­reer”.

We hope to bring you the list of full canal projects sup­ported in the next is­sue, but we un­der­stand that it is not lim­ited to CRT wa­ter­ways. Never steered a nar­row­boat? The Friends of Tru­man En­ter­prise Nar­row­boat Trust is again of­fer­ing a Have-a-Go cruise un­der ex­pert guid­ance from its base at Hather­ton Ma­rina on the Staffs & Worcs. Held on Satur­day 16 April, it costs £20 per per­son. Con­tact Keith Eley on 0121 777 7737.

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