Britain's canals and rivers get new lease of life with funding pledge

Britain's waterways are about to receive a boost with an announcement next week by Richard Benyon, the Environment Minister, of a new 15-year funding settlement.

It will help secure the financial future of the new Canal & River Trust, a "national trust" for canals and rivers which takes over from British Waterways in April.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has committed to provide a £460m property endowment and £390m of funding for the next 10 years, but next week's news is likely to include significantly more money. The trust will give local communities a greater role in caring for Britain's 2,200 miles of waterways.

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