BMF speaks at DEFRA event to welcome launch of new waterways charity
We were delighted that the British Marine Federation was one of
only two organisations invited by Government to speak at the launch
of the consultation for the new waterways charity yesterday, with
my colleague Brian Clark standing alongside the Waterways Minister
and the Chairman of British Waterways. This underlines the
important role we play in representing the sector and the trust the
Government has in us to portray the views of our members.
The BMF represents the entire UK leisure and
small commercial marine industry, a sector comprised of around
4,200 businesses, with a turnover of nearly £3 billion and 32,500
employees. Our inland marinas/hire generates £134 million and
employ 2249 people. In addition, it is estimated that for
every employee directly engaged on the inland marina sector, an
additional 10 jobs are associated from associated services.
Unlike many other industries, our inland
businesses are wholly dependent on a fully operational
waterways. If there is no waterway, there is no industry.
It is for the reason that the future of our
navigable rivers and canals are so important to our membership and
why we support the concept of British Waterways transforming into a
civil society organisation.
The marinas, boat builders, hire fleets,
brokerage and other service related activities that can be found
out navigable rivers and canals believe that the move to the new
waterways charity will put our waterways on a sustainable footing
an ensure that the vital service and maintenance responsibilities
are retained for years to come.
It is important the new waterways charity
“gets it right” from the start and so the delayed inclusion of the
Environment Agency navigations until 2015/16 is accepted. We
however are still fully supportive of a single national navigation
authority and will support the gradual harmonisation of these
navigations during the formative years before the review in
We look forward to fully engaging in the
consultation process over the coming weeks and will be coordinating
the industry response on behalf of waterside businesses to ensure
that issues important to industry and tourism, including
maintaining navigation, levels of service and the industry’s role
in governance are fully considered.
We plan to organise a meeting for the industry
to consider all the issues in the consultation and will let members
know details in due course; in the meantime we welcome views from
members on the consultation so please do post your comments