We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Board of Trustees

Our trustees are unpaid board directors, taking collective decisions on policy and strategy and providing oversight of the executive directors.

We have ten trustees, and they are legally responsible for overseeing the work towards our charitable objectives.

Allan Leighton, chairman

Allan LeightonAllan is a member of the Investment Committee.

Allan was recently appointed chair of the Co-operative Group. He is also chair of Pace plc, Entertainment One plc, Matalan Ltd, and Deputy Chairman of Pandora AS. 

He is a patron of Breast Cancer Care and a keen canal runner.

He was formerly CEO of Asda plc, chairman of the Royal Mail and holds a number of non-executive chairmanships including Lastminute.com and BSkyB. He was also chairman of Race for Opportunity and an Ambassador for Prince Charles in Business in the Community. Allan attended the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard and has Honorary Degrees from Cranfield and an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Lancashire.

Lynne Berry OBE

Lynne BerryLynne is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee, and the Nominations Committee, and also chair of Bwrdd Glandŵr Cymru.

Lynne is chair of Breast Cancer Now and the Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing; Professor at Cass Business School; and sits on the FT’s NED Advisory Board. Previous appointments include CEO of WRVS, the General Social Care Council, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Family Welfare Association, CEO of the Charity Commission.

Government appointments have included the Office of Civil Society Advisory Board and several Better Regulation Task Forces. Lynne is a board member of the International Women’s Forum and co-founder of Women in Public Policy. 

Nigel Annett, CBE

Nigel Annett TrusteeNigel recently stepped down as managing director of Welsh Water and is co-founder of Glas Cymru, the not-for-profit company that successfully took over the ownership of Welsh Water back in 2001, a move which resulted in the water industry in Wales being owned on behalf of its customers. He is currently a non-executive director of the Principality Building Society, and a trustee of Community Foundation in Wales. 

Nigel is a keen cyclist which includes regular rides along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. 

Manish Chande

Manish Chande

Manish is the chair of the Investment Committee.

Manish is a partner of Clearbell Capital LLP, a private real estate fund management and advisory business specialising in UK property investment, development and asset management.

He has over 30 years of real estate experience and is involved in all aspects of the business. Manish co-founded Mountgrange Investment Management in 2007 and was the CEO of Mountgrange Capital, a private property investment and development group from 2002.

He was previously a board director at Land Securities plc, CEO of Trillium, a pioneering sale and lease-back property business; and CEO of Imry, a publicly-quoted property investment and development company. Manish originally trained as a chartered accountant at Midgley Snelling & Co. between 1975 and 1980 and worked at Deloitte, Haskins & Sells in London from 1980 to 1985.

Manish has been a member of the ICAEW since 1980. In 2008 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He was a Commissioner of English Heritage between 2003 and 2011. In 2007, Manish was appointed a Trustee of The London Clinic and in 2012 he was appointed a trustee of the Canal and River Trust. 

Jane Cotton

Jane Cotton

Jane is chair of the Fundraising Committee and a member of the Remuneration and the Appointments Committees.

She was human resources director and a deputy chief executive of Oxfam for 15 years until December 2014. Prior to this, she worked in Departments of Transport and Environment in both policy and human resources roles.

In the 1990s, she was resources director of the Charity Commission and human resources director of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. She brings particular expertise in organisational development and change management; volunteering, fundraising and charity governance.

In addition to her trustee role at Canal & River Trust, she is a trustee of WWF UK and of Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust and a member of the Alumni Advisory Board of Cambridge University.

John Dodwell

John DodwellJohn is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, the Investment Committee and of the Fundraising Committee.

He qualified as a chartered accountant before moving into corporate finance and corporate law. He is a former finance director or chair of several property companies (including joint ventures), has been a trustee of other charities (including dealing with investments).

Since 1961 he has been a member of the Inland Waterways Association (of which he was general secretary 1970-73). John is A former chair of the Commercial Boat Operators’ Association. He owns an historic narrowboat tug in which he has travelled over many parts of the waterways network.

Frances Done CBE

Frances is chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

She was chair of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales for six years until January 2014.  A chartered accountant for 38 years, Frances worked for KPMG before becoming director of finance and then chief executive of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council. She has also been chief executive of Manchester 2002 Ltd – the company responsible for organising the successful Manchester Commonwealth Games.

Subsequently, she held the post of managing director for Local Government, Housing and Criminal Justice at the Audit Commission with responsibility for the Commission’s audit and inspection work in relation to local government in England. After leaving the Audit Commission, Frances was interim director general of the Royal British Legion. Frances was also chair of The Waterways Trust from 2003–2012 when it merged with Canal & River Trust.

Tom Franklin

Tom Franklin

Tom is a member of the Remuneration Committee, the Audit and Risk Committee and the Nominations Committee. He is chief executive of Think Global, a membership charity that works to educate and engage people about global issues such as climate change and sustainability.

He is currently a member of the Independent Panel on the future direction of forestry and woodland policy in England. Tom was previously chief executive of the Ramblers Association, Britain’s walking charity.

He was previously a local authority councillor for twelve years, including a period as council leader, and was an expert adviser on ‘Better Public Spaces’ to the Beacon Council Awards Scheme, and was chief executive of Living Streets, a charity promoting better streets and public spaces for pedestrians.

Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon

Ben is chair of the Remuneration Committee and a member of the Fundraising Committee.

He is a non-executive director of Britvic Plc of St Ives Plc. He is also on the Board of Powerleague Ltd.

Previously he was chief executive of Mothercare Plc for nine years and SVP and managing director of the Disney Store, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Prior to that he had senior management positions in WHSmith Plc and L'Oreal SA in the UK, USA and France.

Ben has an MBA from INSEAD and is a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. 

Dr Simon Thurley CBE

Simon ThurleySimon is a member of the Investment Committee. He is a historian specialising in English architectural history and has written many books and presented television programmes on the subject.

Formerly chief executive of English Heritage, previous posts also include Curator of the Historic Royal Palaces and director of the Museum of London.


Last date edited: 16 June 2016