The Report will be provided as an emailable PDF which will be included with licence renewals and new boat licence applications. A small number of printed copies will be available for those boaters without email. A pocket-sized fold-out containing all the key information will be available as handouts for volunteer lock keepers to give to boaters.
It details how income increased by £6.1 million in 2019/20 to £216.1 million and spend on charitable activities increased by £10.9 million, largely due to the emergency repair works at Toddbrook Reservoir. Underlying expenditure on core maintenance, repairs and infrastructure works continued to grow, including £8.2 million spent on dredging (2018/19: £7.2 million) and £7.9 million spent on vegetation management (2018/19: £7.6 million).
This year the Report contains profiles of twelve colleagues and volunteers, so boaters can get a sense of the wide range of jobs carried out across the Trust to help keep the waterways safe and open for cruising, and ensure boaters' needs are met.
Boaters playing a central role
Jon Horsfall, our head of customer service support, comments: “The Trust's core purpose is maintaining the 2,000 miles of canals and rivers we look after and making the experience of using them as good as we can. Boaters play a central role in helping to fund the work with around 10% of our income coming from boat licences. The Report is designed to give licence holders an overview of how much it costs to maintain the waterways, where the Trust's money comes from and where it gets spent.
“In what has been a difficult year for everyone, we have worked hard to keep the waterways open within the Government's coronavirus guidelines. We appreciate the impact this has had on boaters and have offered concessions on licence fees, and specific additional support for boaters and businesses with additional needs.
“It has also made us appreciate even more the vast range of skills held by our colleagues and volunteers whose efforts are vital to the safe operation of our canals and rivers. Without them, and their tireless work, during lockdown and beyond, we would not have a navigable waterway network.
"This Report celebrates just a few of these roles. Boaters' feedback is important to us, with positive comments as welcome as constructive criticism, and we'd urge boaters to let us know when they're happy with the service they've received from the Trust. Meanwhile we'll continue working to make sure the waterways are open for boaters to cruise for years to come.”