The charity making life better by water

Freedom of Information Act 2000

The Freedom of Information Act ('the Act' or 'FOIA') was passed on 30 November 2000 and came into force in January 2005. It gives the public a right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, but also sets out exemptions from that right.

The term 'public authority' is defined in the Act and includes all public bodies and Government departments in the UK. We have obligations in respect of the statutory functions we inherited from British Waterways.

Key Facts about FOIA

  • Encourages an organisation to be open and transparent
  • Applies to Public Authorities.
  • Affects everyone in the organisation.
  • Statutory duty to implement.
  • Allows anyone, no matter who they are or where they live to make a request for information.
  • Is retrospective in nature.Works in conjunction with the Data Protection Act.
  • 20 working days to respond to request.
  • Specifies exemptions covering information that does not have to be released.
  • Requires the Canal & River Trust to set up and maintain a publication scheme that tells the public what information is held.
  • Is regulated by the Information Commissioners Office

What happens when I make a request?

Firstly, all requests must be made in writing. They must also include your name and an address (postal or email).

We will respond to your request promptly and within 20 working days of receipt. However, the Act does allow us to extend this deadline if we need to clarify your request with you, if we are charging you a fee, or if we are considering the public interest test.

We will always acknowledge receipt of requests within five working days. If we need further clarification from you we will write to you promptly to request this clarification. The 20 working days will begin when we receive this clarification. If we are considering the public interest test and need more time we will write to let you know we need to extend the deadline.

Who to contact about a request?

If you wish to make a request for information, please email [email protected] or submit a request in writing to

Information Governance Team
National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port
South Pier Road
Ellesmere Port
Cheshire
CH65 4FW

Useful Links:

Last Edited: 03 May 2023

photo of a location on the canals
newsletter logo

Stay connected

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about campaigns, upcoming events and fundraising inspiration