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


The executive directors manage the everyday operation of the Trust. They develop policy and strategy for approval by the trustees and are responsible for ensuring the continuing success of the waterways through the management of an expert and committed 1,600-strong workforce.

Richard Parry, chief executive

Richard joined the Trust in July 2013 from FirstGroup, where he headed up First's bid in 2012 for the InterCity West Coast line. He also led First's highly-regarded Hull Trains company as well as other wider development programmes across First's rail businesses.

Before that he spent 19 years at London Underground (LU) and Transport for London (TfL) where he had a range of senior roles, spending eight years as a director of LU, including a year as interim LU managing director (2009-10), and then a further 18 months as deputy managing director, TfL Rail and Underground (2010-11).

Sandra Kelly, finance director

Sandra spent eight years as finance director at NHBC (National House-Building Council), the UK’s leading independent standard-setting body and provider of warranty and insurance for new homes in the UK. 

She previously held senior finance positions in the commercial sector, most notably for BMW UK. 


Sophie Castell, director of marketing, communications and fundraising

Sophie joined the Trust in 2015. 

After gaining a PhD in biochemistry she pursued a career in marketing and innovation which spanned the commercial, charity and public sectors in both executive and non-executive capacities, working for a diverse range of organisations including Coca-Cola, RNIB, the NHS and Save the Children. 

Stuart Mills, property director

A chartered surveyor, Stuart joined the Canal & River Trust in 1990 after working with private sector property consultants, Drivers Jonas. He has worked extensively across the country in various property roles, and more recently, as head of property, was responsible for setting up a number of joint ventures.

Stuart is responsible for property development, investment, estates, strategic planning, urban design, utilities, joint ventures, boating trade and online moorings.

Ian Rogers, customer services and operations director

Ian joined the Trust in 2015 after working with Aon, the large insurance broker, where he has been managing director of the Aon Affinity division working with SME customers. He previously worked in senior customer service roles at Dataforce (a CRM/marketing service business), Thomas Cook, and Eurostar.

Ian is responsible for the Trust’s waterway operations, volunteering and education, boating (including licensing and enforcement), customer service, and the Trust’s museums and attractions.

Last date edited: 22 January 2016