Canal and River Trust charity seeks lobby firm

The newly established charity that has taken over the running of 2,000 miles of waterways is seeking fresh lobbying help in a bid to distance itself from Government.

Waterways: The Canal and River Trust was set up this summer
Waterways: The Canal and River Trust was set up this summer

The Canal and River Trust has launched a pitch for its public affairs account.

The charity was set up this summer to replace public sector body British Waterways, amid a wider cutting back of quangos.

After the switchover of duties in July, the trust immediately took on British Waterways' lobbying firm Cavendish Communications, but it has now decided to repitch as it refocuses its work.

Head of comms Ed Fox revealed the trust is in closed talks with ten agencies, one of which is Cavendish. He added that the work was part of a 'completely new' approach to comms, with a focus on stakeholder engagement and building awareness.

Fox said: 'Quite often we have been seen as simply an arm of government, and what we're keen to do is build local partnerships and grow the influence that those partnerships have on the waterways at a local level.'

He added that such partnerships would span the volunteering, public and commercial sectors. The trust has already forged partnerships with Google, the People's Postcode Lottery and the Co-Operative Bank.

The pitch process is now at the written submission stage. An agency is expected to be chosen by November and will begin work at the start of 2013.

The charity, whose patron is the Prince of Wales, has pledged to give the estimated ten million people who visit British waterways a greater role in making them cleaner and more attractive.

The Canal and River Trust was given a guaranteed £800m from Government as part of the transition. Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude dubbed the transfer 'a major milestone in our programme to reform quangos'.

More than 100 quangos had been abolished since the Government took office, he said.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in