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British Waterways Board: Finance

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what income British Waterways received from its non-operational canal side property portfolio was in the last 12 months; and how much of that income was allocated to spending on waterways maintenance and improvement. (276526)

British Waterways’ income from their canal side non-operational property for 2008-09 is estimated to be £43.2 million, pending final audited figures1. All of this income was used in 2008-09 to fund operational expenditure on managing the waterways including maintenance and improvement.

1 Figures obtained from British Waterways.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to assist British Waterways to establish a business model to provide a sustainable future for the waterways; what options are under consideration for the future of the waterways; and how those options will be evaluated. (276532)

British Waterways has launched a national debate on its proposal to move towards third sector status over the longer term. My Department, the Treasury, and the Shareholder Executive are engaged with British Waterways in discussing what is the best model for supporting a sustainable future for the waterways. We will be interested to see the responses to the public debate on British Waterways’ third sector suggestion.

The Operational Efficiency Programme review, announced on 21 April 2009, concluded that a wholly owned subsidiary of British Waterways should be set up to manage its canal side non-operational property portfolio which is now being implemented. Government will monitor the impacts of the subsidiary and the progress of British Waterways’ strategy before taking any decisions on any further change to the British Waterways business model.