IWA Chief Executive Announces Retirement29 January 2020
IWA’s Chief Executive, Neil Edwards, has announced his retirement following a career spanning more than 24 years with the Association.
Credited with the creation of Canal Camps, Waterway Recovery Group’s week-long working holiday format, Neil has spent many years supporting the charity both as a volunteer and as a member of staff. He first volunteered with London WRG in 1979, joined IWA as an employee in 1995 and led the organisation during the dramatic “Save our System” campaign, through saving and taking on the direct management of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation and through all of the discussions for the establishment and launch of Canal & River Trust. Since Neil began working for the charity nearly 25 years ago, over 210 miles of waterway have been re-opened.
He will step down as chief executive in the summer, having originally told trustees of his intention last September, and in the meantime will work closely on the appointment of a successor with a period of handover. Neil’s extensive waterways knowledge and expertise will not be lost to the Association, as he will continue to volunteer on the board of Essex Waterways Limited, and will be retained by the Association to oversee the insurance arrangements for IWA’s non-profit corporate members - a service which delivers enormous value to the restoration sector in particular.
Paul Rodgers emphasises the value delivered by Neil during his time with the Association
“Under Neil’s leadership IWA has developed an established reputation as champion and advocate of the restoration movement and he has demonstrated an unswerving commitment to developing and improving the nation’s canals and rivers, and thus IWA’s status as ‘Voice of the Waterways’. Neil is a well-respected and admired waterways campaigner and we have been fortunate to have him as our Chief Executive. When he retires he will be leaving the Association in an excellent position to further support the regeneration of our waterways and meet the challenges of the future. We all wish Neil a long and happy retirement.”