He began the debate by focussing on the progress of the Montgomery Canal restoration. Craig Williams went on to talk about the wider success and benefits of waterway regeneration across the country. He said “…if we look at the gross value added effect of restoring canals, we see that there is a huge positive return to the Exchequer and the public purse”. This was reinforcing IWA’s long-held campaigning message.
The importance of tourism to the waterways was also raised. Many businesses and charities currently struggling as a result of restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Craig Williams supported the many letters that have been sent to Government as part of IWA’s campaign for a package of support for navigation authorities and waterway businesses.
He concluded his speech by suggesting that investment by Government in waterway restoration would be excellent value for money. It would help the UK economic recovery by driving domestic tourism, supporting communities and providing health and environmental benefits.