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The charity making life better by water

Third-party events on our network

We will be introducing a charge for third-party events taking place across our estate to help cover our costs of processing and facilitating them. The charge will be levied on event applications received from 1 June 2023.

Enjoying a festival

A £95 +VAT administration fee (the cost to us of processing applications) will be charged for all events, apart from small free community events with fewer than 25 people attending.

There will be further charges for large-scale and commercial events. This will help with the additional cost of hosting the events as well as providing a contribution to the much wider task of maintaining the core fabric of the historic waterways.

Visits by school groups and educational bodies such as Scouts and Brownies will continue to be facilitated through our separate channels and without charge.

Why are we introducing this?

Julie Sharman, our chief operating officer, comments: “The popularity of our historic canal network means it hosts many organisations using it for a range of events – often for promotional or commercial interest.

“So that vital funds aren't diverted away from our core purpose of protecting and preserving the network, the introduction of a charge will help offset the costs of processing and facilitating third-party events. This includes covering the cost of reviewing risk assessments, event management plans and insurances, plus considerations specific to the operation of our canals, their heritage and environment.

“Canals are vital blue green spaces in our towns and cities – precious places still navigated and operated as they were hundreds of years ago. But they need constant care and protection from the Trust, and it's only right that events, which require extra resources and can place stress on the network, should contribute to the cost of keeping the nation's canal heritage alive for today and for future generations to enjoy.”


The introduction of charges for applications received from 1 June 2023 brings us in line with similar not-for-profit landowners. Applications can be made in the usual way here.


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Last Edited: 23 March 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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