CRT looks ahead

Canal Boat - - News -

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

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