New report values benefits of UK waterways

Uk waterways benefits valued in new report
UK waterways benefits valued in new report

The UK All Party Parliamentary Group for Waterways has published a headline report setting out the economic and social value of its 250-year-old waterway network.

Presenting the report to MPs, chief executive, Richard Parry, announced that the combined annual economic and social value of the waterways amounts to £6.1 billion. This includes £1.5 billion annual economic value from water-based tourism and jobs, and annual social value of £4.6 billion, which includes £1.1 billion cost saving to the NHS from active use of the waterways and the towpaths.

Furthermore, the integrity of the canal network’s reservoir dams, embankments and thousands of other historic infrastructure assets, also protects homes, businesses and national infrastructure such as electricity sub-stations and utilities.

Commenting on the report, Richard Parry said, “This report and analysis captures how the Trust’s work to protect and preserve the nation’s historic canal network delivers positive outcomes for society. These include the value of the canal network in terms of supporting jobs, the visitor economy, and the unique welfare benefits delivered by providing access to nature and the outdoors in urban areas, often in society’s most deprived communities. No other UK charity brings so much free blue and green space to the doorsteps of so many.

“However, the nation’s 250-year-old canal network is also old and fragile. Together with government, the Trust bears a huge financial responsibility for the meticulous day-to-day care required to keep this precious network safe and navigable and, in turn, available for society to benefit from and to protect the homes, businesses and critical national infrastructure that runs on or alongside it.”

Download the report: Valuing our Waterways

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