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Underfunding: Scottish Canals

Funding of Scottish Canals

150 miles of canal in Scotland are managed by Scottish Canals, the name for what remains of the British Waterways Board after their waterways in England and Wales were transferred to Canal & River Trust in 2012.

The Forth & Clyde and Union canals (the Lowland Canals) were restored as a Millennium project and reopened in 2011, with funding from the Millennium Commission, European Regional Development Fund, Scottish Enterprise and local authorities. The Crinan Canal and the Caledonian Canal have remained navigable as coast to coast routes, while the Monkland Canal is currently derelict.

Our key current concern is that whole sections of the Lowland Canals could face closure due to lack of available funding. There are also numerous other issues relating to lack of investment and maintenance such as the poor condition of locks and bridges and lack of dredging. Scottish Canals outlined in their Asset Management Strategy (June 2018), that an extra £11m capital funding was required to address these issues, and we will continue to campaign for additional funding to be made available.

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Hundreds of miles of waterways – along with their unique heritage and habitats – are currently starved of funding and rely on constant lobbying by us to safeguard their future.


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