THINK helps British Waterways debate its future

THINK Consulting Solutions has been working with British Waterways (BW) to launch a debate about whether a more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable future for the waterways could be achieved by moving the organisation from the public sector to the third sector.

Setting a new course, prepared by Think Consulting, Bates Wells and Braithwaite and Compass Partnership was commissioned by British Waterways (BW) to flesh out the prospect of it becoming a charity.

It sets out the case for BW to move into the sector, outlines some of the concerns that have been raised, explores how it would need to reposition the way it presents itself to the public, and analyses its fundraising potential.

Moving British Waterways out of the public sector and into the voluntary sector would create the 13th-largest charity by income and the fifth-largest fundraising charity, according to the report.

By moving into the third sector British Waterways aims to increase the level of public and volunteer participation in the waterways and widen the network’s supporter base. As a third sector organisation, a wider range of community stakeholders could have a say in new governance arrangements, whilst British Waterways’ directors and management could work to much longer horizons with the security of an agreed long term government funding contract.

Tony Hales, chairman, said: “I believe the third sector is the best and only feasible option to continue the renaissance of Britain’s aging waterways. Moving to the third sector would secure a more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable future for this important national treasure.”

The proposals have received warm support from a range of stakeholders and partners and British Waterways will put forward firm recommendations in the Spring.

You can download the consultation document here.

Categories: Charities, Strategy

Resource Type: Blog

Posted by Beccy Murrell

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