19th November 2012
In his speech to the AGM of the Waterways Crafts Guild on 10th November, John Dodwell, Canal & River Trust Trustee discussed some CRT financial figures.
The Trust has an annual income of about £150m, all of which is spent each year.
He said that waterway area maintenance teams are split into Monthly Inspection; Construction (working to a schedule of works); Customer Operations (who respond to calls and do planned preventative maintenance and water control. Each waterway area has about 80 staff, 75% of which are bank staff. Each has an annual budget of about £5m to deliver day-to-day maintenance and customer service. This includes planned preventative maintenance, defect repairs, the annual lock gate replacement programme, vegetation management and the risk management inspection processes. The more complex projects and major dredging are managed by centralised specialists.
He also said that looking forward, £4m has been allocated to improve some areas where water can be scarce – such as the Kennet & Avon Canal, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the canals around Braunston.
A ten year dredging programme is being planned, probably spending £8m a year, which is twice the previous amount.
Last winter British Waterways replaced a little under 200 lock gates as part of a winter maintenance programme costing £50m. This winter the Trust is undertaking a similar programme.
The Trust has taken on 22 new apprentices, 2 in each of the 11 waterways areas. The apprentices are mainly in the joinery and bricklaying trades and it is intended that they will help keep the heritage skills on the waterways alive.
The full speech can be downloaded from CRT's website