Record levels of spend on charities

Published: Wednesday, 14 October 2020

THE Canal & River Trust has now published its 2019/20 Annual Report.

The Annual Report & Accounts chart a year when income, volunteering, and spend on the Trust’s charitable activities grew to record levels and a period that also saw extreme weather events contribute to widespread infrastructure damage, including the emergency at Toddbrook Reservoir, and the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spend on charitable activities increased

The Trust’s income increased by £6.1 million in 2019/20 to £216.1 million and spend on charitable activities increased by £10.9 million, with underlying expenditure on core maintenance, repairs and infrastructure works continuing to grow.

The implications of the coronavirus pandemic for the Trust, including the furloughing of staff, impact on community activities, volunteering and day-to-day operations, as well as the important role the waterways played during lockdown when the towpaths demonstrated their value in providing accessible green and blue space for local people, are examined in the Report.

Loss of income

The Report acknowledges that, whilst the Trust’s income and investments will be affected by the pandemic, the full economic impact of the crisis is not yet fully known. As the Trust prioritises spend on winter works in the months ahead, with a full maintenance and repair programme, it has indicated a likely loss of income in the current year of around 10%.

Whilst boating was put on hold for most during the initial stages of lockdown, the Report does highlight a small growth in boat numbers and income from boating and moorings remaining at just under 20% of income in 2019/20.

'A lot has been achieved'

Richard Parry, chief executive at the Canal & River Trust, comments:

“The Trust is now eight years old and a lot has been achieved in that time, including rising income, increased expenditure on our waterways and growing numbers of supporters and volunteers.

“However this year has been a reminder of the scale of the Trust’s core responsibility, with a series of extreme weather events contributing to widespread infrastructure damage and the important role our waterways play within society, both as a network for boating, but also as vital green and blue corridors in our towns and cities offering on-the-doorstep health and wellbeing benefits to millions of people.”

To view the Annual Report & Accounts visit: Accounts