Basingstoke CRT transfer back on?
A TRANSFER of the Basingstoke Canal to the Canal & River Trust could be on the cards again, with discussions re-starting between CRT and the canal’s current owners.
As part of the restoration of the 32-mile canal, it was taken over by Surrey and Hampshire county councils. But since reopening in 1991, they and the smaller local authorities have often provided inadequate funding, and it deteriorated to the point where it was closed for long periods of time.
In 2012 the counties put up £4m to tackle overdue work and get the canal open, but there remained a sizeable backlog, with the waterway’s long-term survival also depending on more ongoing funding. A CRT takeover was seen as the best way forward, but talks ended as CRT could not take on a liability without the councils providing a ‘dowry’ they couldn’t afford.
However the counties have now opened fresh discussions with CRT under a five year plan to make the canal more sustainable, by increasing income generation and tackling the repair backlog, with the long-term plan being for CRT to manage the canal. The news has been welcomed by the Basingstoke Canal Society, which led the restoration.
The Basingstoke Canal at Deepcut Locks