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Water gives life and vibrancy to a space. Build a road it doesn’t inspire anyone; build a canal – it inspires everyone.

Our Vision

The Inland Waterways Association considers waterways restoration to be one huge interconnected infrastructure project. There are over 40 active restoration schemes throughout England and Wales looking to restore over 500 miles of waterways. IWA believes that these projects are not just about adding water – they are about regenerating and transforming the communities and people they pass by.  

We want to work towards creating a bigger, better, joined up network that delivers a wide range of benefits from health and wellbeing to being a catalyst for regeneration of local areas.

IWA believes waterway restorations are not just about the water; they benefit and support their local communities in many different ways. The Covid 19 pandemic has altered the way we spend our time and view our locality. Outdoor heritage spaces are now seen as safe spaces to socialise, unwind and exercise. 

Going forward IWA believes waterway restoration can play an important part in supporting the post-Covid recovery by delivering a wide programme of public benefits and transforming areas from day one.

Our Goals

The Hub Goals are to:


Be a central point of control, helping signpost restoration groups through the challenging process of restoring a canal. The Hub also provides support via our panel of experts to produce up to date guidance, running workshops and free online resources. Organise visits to restoration groups, to be attended by appropriate experts who will offer specialist support, guidance and resources.


Provide practical assistance through WRG Canal Camps and Regional Weekends. Volunteers administer hands on support through training in construction skills and machine operation, advise on Health & Safety and contribute over 40,000 volunteer hours each year towards practical canal restoration and planning.


Campaign for the waterways restoration movement at a national level, encouraging, promoting and enabling waterway restoration to galvanise the attention and support of influential politicians, media and key stakeholders

IWA’s Restoration Hub: In a Nutshell