The charity making life better by water

A narrow boat moors on the offside of the canal with the sunset reflecting on the water

Keep Canals Alive

Demand action from Government to secure the future of our canals.

Our much-loved canal network, which delivers so much benefit to people and for nature, relies on funding from multiple sources: government grant being one of them.

In July 2023 Government announced a new funding settlement, spanning from 2027 to 2037, to follow on from our current grant agreement. Whilst we welcome this further long-term commitment to the nation's historic waterways, the amount awarded represents a steep reduction in funding of over £300 million in real terms over a ten-year period. A reduction that will have devastating consequences on our canals and the people and wildlife who rely on them.

Such a steep reduction will inevitably result in a decline in the overall condition of our waterway network, and, alarmingly, the possibility of canal closures. It puts at risk invaluable natural habitats, historic infrastructure and cherished public spaces.

That's why we're reaching out to you, our passionate and engaged community, to join us in our mission to #KeepCanalsAlive.

Hear from our chief executive, Richard Parry

Take action by emailing your local MP

Tell your local MP how much you care about the canals and why they need to be funded properly. Urge the Government to reconsider their decision and protect our waterways for the future.

What happens next?

We are sure you will share our disappointment at the Government's decision. We are determined to fight to change it, to re-state the case for the funding needed to keep canals alive and to sustain the wide range of benefits they deliver. With your help, and that of all our other users, partners, boaters, volunteers, Friends and supporters, we will continue our campaign over the months ahead whilst also taking every opportunity to generate funding from other sources, and to deliver our work efficiently. Together we can keep canals alive and thriving for the future. ​

In the meantime we'll continue to raise our voice and fight for our network.

  • We'll target the media to raise the profile of canals and their importance to everyone
  • We'll meet with MPs from all political parties to influence policy and shape manifestos
  • We'll raise awareness of the issue with everyone who lives, works and spends time on our waterways network to build support
  • We'll keep collecting and presenting evidence that shows just how valuable canals are for people, wildlife and the economy
  • We'll continue to raise vital funds to ensure we can continue to keep canals open for all to enjoy

You can show your support by writing to your MP to demand action for canals, by helping us spread the word, or by supporting our work with a donation.

Staffs & Worcs Canal photo credit: David Williams

Last Edited: 21 December 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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