CRT looks ahead
TOTAL INCOME FOR the Canal & River Trust during 2016-17 has risen above £ 200m for the first time, allowing for a six percent increase in its spending on the waterways, as the Trust puts together its plans for the next three years and looks ahead towards the end of its Government funding contract.
Total income of £203.9m resulted in a breakeven overall (rather than the £5m deficit that had been budgeted), which after overheads left £140m for spending on ‘charitable activities’ – including the basic maintenance, repair and operation of the network. The maintenance part of this involved 197 planned stoppages; at the same time the number of days of unplanned and emergency stoppages fell again, by 13 percent from 630 days to 549.
The Trust also reported a 30 percent increase in members of its Friends support organisation to 20,600, volunteer hours rising to 540,000, 173 community waterway adoptions and 90,000 children reached by its education programme.
Looking forward, the Trust’s Business Plan predicts that income will rise to £204.3m in 2017-18, then to £205.8m and £213.8m in subsequent years. At the same time, CRT aims to increase expenditure at a lower rate, building up to an annual surplus of £5.6m by 2019-20. Although the Trust is only five years into the funding contract agreed with the Government when it was set up in 2012, levels of support will begin to tail off by then, and as Chief Executive Richard Parry told Canal Boat, the current new government is likely to be “the one we start negotiating with” regarding what happens at the end of the 15 years.
There were 197 planned stoppges in 2016-17