Canal & River Trust gains charity status

Late yesterday the Charity Commission confirmed the registration of the Canal & River Trust under registration number 1146792.  The news means that the fledgling Trust, which already has a Board of Trustees, a governing Council and, in HRH The Prince of Wales, a Royal Patron, is now legally permitted, and will soon be ready, to raise charitable income to support its objectives.

The Canal & River Trust’s Deputy Chair, Lynne Berry, commented: “This is such exciting news and another important milestone towards the launch of the Canal & River Trust this summer.  The new Trust is now a fully-fledged charitable body, ready and able to take on the care of the canals and rivers of England and Wales, and ready to start fundraising.”

The Canal & River Trust is due to take over the care of 2,000 miles of waterways, historic buildings, museums and archives from British Waterway and The Waterways Trust in England and Wales.  The move, which is subject to Parliamentary approval, will be the single largest transfer of a public body into the charitable sector, and is underpinned by a guaranteed 15-year funding contract with Government.

Lynne added: “The creation of the Canal & River Trust is one of the most exciting projects in the charitable sector at the moment and will hold in trust for the nation one of our most extraordinary national treasures.  Charitable registration means that we are now almost ready to start raising income from charitable sources, to add to the waterways’ solid foundation of Government and self-earned income.

“There has been a tremendous amount of work to get us to this point and the Trustees would like to thank the Charity Commission for their assistance in our application, and our legal team for their hard work behind the scenes.  The Canal & River Trust is all about securing the future of the waterways, and today’s announcement brings us one step closer to realising this dream.”

For more information about the Canal & River Trust, including its charitable objects, visit

2 comments to Canal & River Trust gains charity status

  • David Armstrong.

    The Canal Voluntary Workers over the years and as now do a great Job. Does this mean now with full canal Charitable status that all work on the British Canals is from Voluntary Workers.? Will any jobs be created also for ** Paid…. Full or part-time workers in the future. ?………… Surely this is a great opportunity to create employment for many, many people on restoring the Canals who find themselves unemployed but want to to do a job of work. My 'Canal' funding knowlege in this respect is very limited but it seems to open up vast Canal restoration opportunties for both **Voluntary and **Paid workers. Early days however can anyone clarify the situation in this respect ?.

    • Will Chapman

      I agree that volunteers have made an extremely valuable contribution to our waterways. Their positive impact has been over many decades and I am confident that volunteering will make an even greater impact as CRT matures.

      I believe it is a stated ajm that volunteers will enhance or assist rather than replace the role of existing CRT staff. I can imagine that future canal projects will generate new jobs and it makes sense that people who have gained working experience through volunteering would be able to make their CV’s more attractive. The very process of volunteering might also make them more aware of any such employment opportunities.

      All of the above, however, is speculation and I will endeavour to find out more about CRT policy on the subject.

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