I remain proud of our Canal network and in particular the work which the Canal and River Trust and all their staff and volunteers do on our behalf.
The Canal and River Trust is a huge success story and that is why I was pleased to speak in the most recent Westminster Hall debate about their successes.
However, in my speech I stressed the importance of the £52.6 million grant that it receives from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DE-FRA)
I urged the Minister and the Government to continue to support the Canal and River Trust. The benefits are massive—there are health-related, economic and wellbeing benefits, as well as benefits for community groups. At a time when so many families are feeling financial pressure, it is an opportunity to explore the outdoors for free. I also mentioned the Brownhills Canalside festival, now or-ganised by the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust, which is enjoyed by so many of us.
Given that the Canal and River Trust has not just stepped up to the plate but has gone way beyond it, I hope that the Minister and her team will look positively when reviewing the grant and continue to pay it or increase it, because the re-turn on investment for our communities is huge.