Scottish Canals’ Asset Management Strategy sets out how the organisation will manage, care for, and prioritise works on the infrastructure of the nation’s 250-year-old waterways between now and 2030 in the face of a £70 million repair backlog.
The strategy details out how Scottish Canals will use its limited resources to manage the reservoirs, canals, lock gates and bridges in its care, prioritising works that ensure the safety of the public and bring the widest possible benefits for all the people of Scotland.
Scottish Canals receives Grant-In-Aid of around £10 million each year from the Scottish Government for the management of 140 miles of inland waterway and more than 4,000 individual assets ranging from the 200-year-old engineering structures of the Avon Aqueduct and Ness Weir to modern tourism icons like The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies.
Each require considerable investment to maintain and, despite the organisation working to generate its own income to reinvest in caring for the assets, ageing infrastructure, the growing impact of climate change, and increasing pressure on public finances means that Scotland’s canals now face a repair backlog in excess of £70 million.
The organisation estimates that Scotland’s canals require additional investment of between £6 million and £9 million each year – and have done for a number of years. The Asset Management Strategy sets out a rationale for prioritising which projects and infrastructure Scottish Canals invests its limited resources in to ensure the safety of the public and the long-term sustainability of the nation’s inland waterways.