The decision has been taken following extensive public and internal consultation and market research into the replacement for the name and symbol of “British Waterways.” They reflect the important step the Government is taking in creating a new successor organisation to hold the waterways in trust for the nation in perpetuity. The change also offers an opportunity to attract the attention of, and to appeal to, the wider public.
Free design consultancy
Multi-award winning design agency Pentagram provided free design consultancy to develop the new national charity's name, symbol and imagery. The worldwide agency has a long history with the waterways, creating the British Waterways symbol over 20 years ago. To make maximum impact at minimum cost, the Canal & River Trust will be working with waterway organisations to plan a phased change to signage on the waterways perhaps by providing a ‘signing kit' for local groups.
Tony Hales, chairman of the transition trustees, said: “Our canals and rivers have been part of the fabric of the country's landscape for 250 years and putting them in trust for the nation is the start of a new chapter in the renaissance of the waterways. People have told us that the waterways are important to them as a local haven, for themselves and for nature. Stepping onto a towpath is like entering a different world, where the stress of daily life can be escaped. The Canal & River Trust and our new symbol represent what our waterways mean to so many people.”
Inspirational canals and rivers
John Rushworth, partner at Pentagram, said: ““I was immediately interested when I heard about the new waterways charity. I helped create British Waterways' logo in the 1980s and I was keen to get involved in developing the Canal & River Trust brand. The nation's canals and rivers are inspirational and I'm delighted that Pentagram's work will help spread the word to an even greater audience.”
The Welsh name for the new charity, Glandwr Cymru, translates literally as ‘Waterside Wales' and reflects a determination by transition trustees that the trust has a distinctly Welsh character and focus for its waterways in Wales.
The Canal & River Trust is expected to launch in April 2012 and will hold 2,000 miles of canals and rivers in England and Wales, including the third largest estate of listed structures, in trust for the nation. Britain's waterways also provide a unique haven for wildlife, offering distinctive local tranquillity to some 13 million visitors every year.
The “British Waterways” brand will stay alive in Scotland, where the waterways currently managed by British Waterways Scotland will be kept in the public sector and will not form part of the Canal & River Trust.
First published 6th Oct 2011.