Scottish Canals to be managed by wholly Scottish board
Published on 12/7/2012
British Waterways Scotland is to become known as ‘Scottish Canals’ with Scottish Ministers gaining more control over its operation.
Recent changes in UK legislation mean British Waterways has become wholly Scottish, while in England and Wales responsibility for canals and waterways transfers, today out of the public sector to a new charitable trust the Canal and River Trust.
Welcoming the change, Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “Scotland's canals provide a stunning setting for water based leisure activity, supporting tourism, educational opportunities and the economy. The 137 miles of canal network has historic significance and we are keenly aware of its importance and value to Scotland.”
“These changes allow us to appoint a board much closer to Scotland’s canal users and to our purpose of creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.”
“We look forward to supporting the new board as they continue the good work that has seen our waterways transformed over the last 15 years, the most dramatic being the Millennium Link and the construction of the Falkirk Wheel which celebrates its tenth birthday this year.”
Jon Hargreaves, Chair of the Scottish Canals Board added: “We are delighted that Scottish Government has today announced that we are now officially Scottish Canals, a standalone public corporation.”
“The inaugural Scottish Canals Board and the whole Scottish canals team now look forward to working with the Scottish Government, our customers and our many national and local partners across the country to create a bright, exciting and sustainable future for the Scottish canals.”
“Above all, we look forward to creating a future which increases the value and public benefit of the canals for those using the waterways, the waterside communities they pass through and for Scotland as a whole.”
The Scottish Government has worked closely with the UK Government throughout the transition process to ensure common issues, such as the separation of assets, were addressed amicably. This has ensured British Waterways Scottish operations continues to operate in the public sector by becoming a self-standing body.
Scottish Canals is expected to continue to work in partnership with public, private and third sector organisations to develop the country’s canals.
Recent initiatives include the launch of the Great Glen Canoe Trail, Scotland's first formal canoe trail and the ongoing Helix project which will not only improve access to the Forth & Clyde Canal at the River Carron but also regenerate green belt between the Falkirk and Grangemouth communities.