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Contact your MP to help save waterway businesses

Write to your MP

Please write to your MP to raise concerns you may have for the waterway businesses and organisations in your local area.  You may want to use some of the following key points as part of your letter, but it is best if each letter is unique.

The key issues are:

  • The inland waterways leisure industry is worth approximately £1.5bn to the UK economy but waterways businesses are disproportionately impacted because the majority do not have land premises that qualify them for existing Government support.
  • The high dependency on income during the spring and summer months means that the Covid-19 crisis has hit at the worst possible time, with annual expenditure already having been paid out in maintenance and running costs over the winter.
  • Most waterway businesses have had to cease trading completely while the current restrictions are in place.  Some businesses have already closed permanently, with many more at significant risk of collapse before the end of the year.
  • Many inland waterway businesses have little or no access to the grants, loan schemes or rates rebates currently being offered by Government.  Business owners are wary of taking on loans which would have to be paid back next year despite having lost this year’s income.

Please ask your MP to raise this matter with George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment Food & Rural Affairs and Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer as a matter of urgency.

Parliamentary Questions

You could also suggest that your MP asks a Parliamentary Question on the subject.  Some example questions that they could ask are:

  • Question for Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:  “To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to support the call by national waterway organisations for £20m Covid-19 funding to support waterway businesses; and will he make a statement.”
  • Question for Chancellor of the Exchequer:  “To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Treasury is taking to protect inland waterway based businesses impacted by Covid-19; and will he make a statement.”
  • Question for Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:  “To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to protect heritage and tourism on the inland waterways from the impact of Covid-19; and will he make a statement”

Waterways in Progress Grant: Chesterfield Canal

£50,000 was awarded to Rewatering Renishaw Phase 1a project as part of IWA’s Waterways in Progress Grants.

Waterways in Progress Grant: Swansea Canal

IWA awarded £18,000 to the Swansea Canal Society’s Coed Gwilym Park Slipway Project as part of IWA’s Waterways in Progress Grants in 2019.

Waterways in Progress Grant: Wilts & Berks Canal

£13,960 was awarded the Shrivenham Canal Park Project as part of IWA’s Waterways in Progress Grants.

Waterways in Progress Grant: Ashby Canal

£10,000 was awarded the Ashby Canal Trail Project as part of IWA’s Waterways in Progress Grants in 2019.

Sustainable boating

We want boating on canals and rivers to be more sustainable and – even though the current overall contribution to UK carbon emissions is very small – we want to help reduce emissions on the waterways.