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

Boats operated by charities and communitiy groups

These are boats that are used primarily for community or educational use.

There are many boats on our waterways that are used primarily for community or educational use.  The majority are operated as trip or hire boats, with a few trading boats and even one that moors up in different locations to offer children's play activities.

Please refer to the guidance notes that apply to the use that you want to make of the boat and complete the relevant Operating Proposal form.

Do not commit financially to your proposed business before receiving our ‘in principle’ approval. 

Now that we ourselves are a Charity it is important for us to make sure that any organisation receiving a discount or subsidy from us in respect of a boating operation must be using that boat to deliver our Charitable objectives.  We are working to produce a clear set of guidelines and criteria that will help us to determine which boats we may subsidise and those that we should not.  Whilst this work is ongoing we will continue to use the 'old' charitable discount and criteria as set out below.  

There is a 60 per cent discount off the Business Licence fee providing that all of the following requirements are met:

  • the boat is used for educational purposes by an organisation not operating for profit, or by registered charities for charitable purposes for the disadvantaged or people with disabilities.
  • the boat is used only by or for the class of persons that the boat is intended to benefit.
  • any charge for the use of the boat is limited to the costs of the trip.
  • the boat is not offered to the general public for hire or reward or for carrying passengers for a payment on a regular basis.
  • this concession will not apply if it would create an unfair advantage over commercial passenger boat operations in the vicinity.

This discount will be the subject of further review and consultation.

Operating Proposal

New applicants in this sector should complete the Operating Proposal that is most relevant for the use of the boat that they intend to make of the boat. 

Upon receipt of your proposal, we will write and confirm receipt and aim to give you an in principle decision within 6 weeks.  Please note that you may need to obtain planning permission and negotiate agreements for using our property which could take much longer to finalise.

Do not commit financially to your proposed business before receiving our ‘in principle’ approval.

Boaters Handbook

The Canal & River Trust and Drifters, the UK’s biggest consortium of hire boat companies, have teamed up to make a new DVD covering boating basics. A companion to the existing popular boaters handbook, it contains lots of 'getting started' tips for hire boaters and new boat owners, as well as important information about how to boat safely.

The DVD can be viewed on our [Navigating the Waterways] page.

Last date edited: 16 July 2015