Canal & River Trust (CRT) stands to make a £5m profit this financial year rather than the expected £6m loss, despite spending more on maintenance.

CRT has had a “stunning year financially” according to a very positive report by chief executive Richard Parry. The year-end income is now expected to be around £15m better than in its original 2014/15 plan. This includes an additional spend on waterways of about £3 to 4m, resulting in a greater improvement in the condition of CRT’s major assets.

There has been strong growth in capital value of endowment assets and in grants for projects from such outside bodies as the Heritage Lottery Fund and charitable trusts.

Recruitment of Friends of CRT passed 10,000 regular donors in April and the target hours for volunteering has been exceeded (411,000 hours in 14/15). Public awareness of CRT is up 30%.

Over 100 community adoptions of section of waterway area now ‘live’ and more money is promised for towpath improvements (£13m to 2018).

Sunday at Fradley

A record number of over 400 million visits to its waterway were recorded in CRT’s survey for 2014/15. Above, busy Sunday at Fradley Junction.

CRT’s annual national boat count, completed in March, confirmed that licence evasion rates are below 5% for the sixth year in a row; with 95.4% of boats holding up-to-date licences.

On CRT’s contract with government, which gives it guaranteed grant funding,  Mr. Parry said: “Our Ten Year Strategy is the response to this opportunity, to re-shape the organisation, how it operates, and its funding sources, to combine core navigation authority and waterways ‘conservancy’ role with wider public benefit opportunities.

Thanks to Harry Arnold and Waterway Images for this report and photo.

All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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