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The Value of Inland Waterways. A Literature Review & Scoping Report

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This report identifies and summarises a range of existing and planned research into themes relevant to waterways; Heritage, Green Infrastructure, Health & Wellbeing and Economic Development & Regeneration. It was commissioned by the Inland Waterways Association to inform future research, partnerships and organisational direction. The full report can be accessed at https://issuu.com/waterwaysassoc/docs/the_value_of_waterways_october_2019?fr=sYjk3ZTQ2MTUyNQ or via the website of the Inland Waterways Association https://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_publications/reports
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The Value of
Inland Waterways
A Literature Review
By Nicki Schiessel Harvey, Birmingham Ci Universi
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
CONTENTS
Foreword ................................................................................................................... 1
1 Introduction: Context & Scope ............................................................................. 2
1.1 Report Themes ........................................................................................................................ 2
1.2 Report Structure ..................................................................................................................... 3
1.3 Method .................................................................................................................................... 3
What is ‘Value’? ........................................................................................................ 4
2 Summary of Findings & Recommendations ......................................................... 5
2.1 Findings: Value Themes .......................................................................................................... 5
Heritage ..................................................................................................................... 5
Greenspace and Blue-Green Infrastructure ............................................................. 5
Health & Wellbeing .................................................................................................. 6
Economic Development & Regeneration ................................................................ 6
2.2 Next Steps: Issues & Recommendations ................................................................................. 7
Determine IWA Focus Areas .................................................................................... 7
Strengthen Strategic Partnerships .......................................................................... 8
Small-Scale Incremental Actions ............................................................................ 9
Further Work Needed ............................................................................................. 10
3 Chronology of Previous Work on the Value & Benefits of Inland Waterways ..... 10
3.1 Waterway Revival at the End of the 20th Century ................................................................. 10
3.2 New Labour & the Heritage Lottery Fund Years - 2000-2008 ............................................ 12
3.3 Austerity and the Transfer from BW to Canal & River Trust to 2012 ............................... 15
3.4 Waterways for Well-Being the New Canal & River Trust Agenda .................................... 17
4 Heritage ............................................................................................................. 19
4.1 What is ‘Heritage’? Definitions and Values .......................................................................... 19
4.2 Measuring the Value of Heritage .......................................................................................... 23
Monetary Value ...................................................................................................... 24
Social Value ............................................................................................................ 25
4.3 Key Players and Interested Stakeholders ............................................................................. 26
4.4 What Does This Mean for Inland Waterways? .................................................................... 28
5 Greenspace & Green-Blue infrastructure ........................................................... 29
5.1 What is ‘Green Infrastructure’? Definitions and Values ..................................................... 29
5.2 Measuring the Value of Green-Blue Spaces ......................................................................... 33
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
5.3 Key Players and Interested Stakeholders ............................................................................. 35
5.4 What Does This Mean for Inland Waterways? .................................................................... 35
6 Health & Wellbeing ............................................................................................ 36
6.1 What is ‘Wellbeing’? Definitions and Values ....................................................................... 36
6.2 Measuring the Value of Health & Wellbeing ........................................................................ 38
6.3 Key Players and Interested Stakeholders ............................................................................. 40
6.4 What Does this Mean for Inland Waterways? ..................................................................... 40
7 Economic Development & Regeneration ............................................................ 41
7.1 What is ‘Economic Development? Definitions and Values .................................................. 41
7.2 Leisure & Tourism.................................................................................................................. 41
7.3 Urban & Rural Regeneration ................................................................................................ 43
Regeneration or Gentrification of Waterfronts? ................................................... 44
The Role of ‘Public Goods’ in Regeneration .......................................................... 44
7.4 Measuring the Value of Economic Development and Regeneration .................................. 45
Socio-Economic Impacts ....................................................................................... 46
Uplift in Value ........................................................................................................ 48
7.5 Key Players and Interested Stakeholders ............................................................................. 49
7.6 What Does This Mean for Inland Waterways? .................................................................... 49
8 Conclusions ....................................................................................................... 50
9 References ......................................................................................................... 52
10 About the Author ............................................................................................... 65
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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THE VALUE OF
INLAND WATERWAYS
Foreword by Ivor Caplan, IWA National Chairman
As The Inland Waterways Association (IWA),
we aim to support the widest possible use of
the waterways from the broadest sectors of
society. In order to keep the waterways
relevant and to help maintain continued
support from planners and policy makers, we
need to prove the value of waterways across
the UK.
With funding being cut and budgets being
squeezed, it is only natural for decision-
makers to overlook investment in areas that
aren’t perceived as important to their local
communities. IWA is working to ensure that
inland waterways are given the full support
they deserve and are appreciated for the far-
reaching benefits they bring to an area.
It is this desire to prove the value of inland
waterways that has led to the creation of this
literature review. We know that many reports
and research documents have already been
written that demonstrate the benefits that a
river or canal brings to an area and we have
brought all of these together in one place. In
doing this, we have discovered two main areas
that we feel have room for further
investigation Waterways Heritage and The
Benefits of ‘Active’ Waterways, with boats
navigating the water. These are two areas of
research that IWA will be focusing on over the
next few years.
Please take some time to review this valuable
resource. It lists out many of the previously
written reports that have been published over
the years, giving a brief summary of the
findings.
If, after reading it, you have any comments or
thoughts, please don’t hesitate to contact me:
ivor.caplan@waterways.org.uk.
September 2019
FOREWORD
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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1 INTRODUCTION: CONTEXT & SCOPE
This literature review and scoping report for
the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has
compiled evidence on the value of inland
waterways. The work was commissioned in
2018 from N. Schiessel Harvey of Birmingham
City University in order to support IWA’s
advocacy work with politicians, funders and
other decision makers and to help it in its role
as an independent ‘critical friend’ to inland
waterways organisations such as Canal &
River Trust, the Environment Agency and the
other independent navigation authorities that
operate within the UK.
1.1 REPORT THEMES
Inland waterways can be defined as ‘public
goods.’ These are assets or services which are
provided for, or used by, the wider public
without profit or restriction, but cost money to
support1.
For waterways, whether individuals pay or do
not pay for their maintenance or
enhancement, (almost) no one is excluded
from enjoying (some of) their benefits and one
person’s enjoyment of the waterway does not
(in principle) diminish the capacity of others
to enjoy it too. For example, the benefit
received by recreational use of the towpath by
walkers cannot be chargeable, and there is no
realistic way of preventing access to certain
groups. Other areas which are often seen as
public goods include forests, parks, heritage
assets and landscapes.
Without the investment in maintenance of
these, they would not offer benefits to users,
but those paying don’t see a direct return on
investment. The benefits of investing in these
‘non-tradeable’ assets may be contested or
intangible with no economic rationale, so how
1 Samuelson, P. (1954). The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 36(4), 387-389.
2 UK Gov’t Transport Act 1968 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/73/part/VII/crossheading/the-boards-
waterways
3 Edwards, L A (1985). Inland Waterways of Great Britain (6th Ed). Imray Laurie Norie and Wilson. ISBN 978-0-
85288-081-4.
do decision-makers with limited resources
determine if something is ‘worth it?’
Inland waterways are many things to many
people. A range of broad (and often
overlapping) value themes are relevant to
public goods, so identifying potential areas of
attention for future decision-makers and
influencers is a useful start to any report on the
value of inland waterways.
It is over 50 years since the 1968 Transport Act
highlighted that most UK inland waterways
were more suited to leisure cruising and other
recreational purposes than their original
freight transport purpose2,3. During that time,
studies and reports generated have changed
emphasis on the types of benefits that inland
waterways and their restoration - can
deliver. Equally, the identified range of
benefits has expanded as waterways made
their way onto the Government’s and onto
funders’ agendas.
While agendas may change, core themes have
emerged which shape the conversation around
the value of inland waterways in the UK. These
are:
Heritage (Built, Natural and Social).
Inland waterways have shaped how towns and
landscapes have developed, contributing to a
sense of place. Their physical structures have
intrinsic value as well as associated social and
economic benefits. Equally, past and present
- waterways communities and industries have
contributed to the UK’s cultural heritage.
Key to unlocking this value is engagement
from different stakeholders, not just waterway
enthusiasts, thus reviewing non-waterway
approaches to valuing heritage is informative.
Methods for measuring the value of heritage
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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are evolving, led by agencies such as Historic
England and funding bodies such as National
Lottery Heritage Fund, and there is increasing
cross-over with community, wellbeing and
social valuation approaches.
Nature & habitats: Green and Blue
Infrastructure (for ecosystems and
human use) Greenspace - and green
corridors such as towpaths contribute to
healthy living as well as nature conservation
and biodiversity. Water also supports
biodiversity and can provide benefits such as
urban cooling. The past decade has seen
increased research into capturing the various
‘services’ that natural processes and assets
provide to humans. These ‘ecosystem services’
can be biophysical, social or even spiritual.
Personal Wellbeing (including health,
community health, and sense of
place) Wellbeing is high on the agenda at
present, with governments recognising how
physical and mental health can avoid
treatment costs and improve employability.
There is a growing body of research into the
value of supporting healthy lifestyles. At the
same time, the importance of creating
communities is increasingly recognised.
Economic Development and Area
Regeneration. As well as being a public
good, water delivers private added-value. The
contribution of a waterfront setting to
property values and of waterway restoration
works to economic benefits have been well
explored, with economic regeneration being a
justification for many waterways projects.
Economic wellbeing is closely linked with
social wellbeing; skills and jobs linked to
waterways are therefore valuable in many
ways. Waterways also make direct
contributions through activities such as
transportation and water transfer. Both
heritage and greenspace are tourism ‘draws’,
which inland waterways provide.
1.2 REPORT STRUCTURE
Following a brief chronology of main
waterways-relevant publications over the past
few decades, this report reviews the key ways
the ‘value’ of inland waterways can be defined,
measured and promoted across each theme.
For each of these, we draw on academic and
practice sources to look broadly at the theme
in general terms, highlighting where literature
specific to UK inland waterways relates to this.
We then draw on knowledge from related
areas (e.g. river or heritage studies and
international experiences) applicable to the
value of Inland Waterways, and identify where
there is a need for further work to develop our
evidence base.
The purpose of this literature review
and scoping process has been to identify
any areas where further research by the
IWA can address gaps in evidence
regarding the value of inland waterways
in particular, or seek to influence other
research agendas.
1.3 METHOD
For the first stage of defining broad themes
applicable to Inland Waterways, Google
keywords were used to identify as wide a range
of potential sources as possible in the policy
and the industry arenas. Keyword searches
were also undertaken using Google Scholar
and academic databases. The research pages
of known organisations (such as the Heritage
Lottery Fund, Historic England, Canal & River
Trust and DEFRA) were reviewed to identify
collections of commissioned research. Against
each broad theme, the following questions
were asked:
What does [theme] mean? How is it
defined, by who?
What benefits, issues or values are
associated with this theme?
What are the main ways of measuring value
for this theme?
Who are the main stakeholders or ‘players’
interested in or affected by this theme?
How is this theme relevant to the value of
Inland Waterways?
The findings from this initial review were then
used to search for UK inland waterways-
specific literature as well as international
sources and wider water-related literature.
There are a myriad of approaches to
measuring ‘value’ this report identifies and
summarises mainly what is valued about the
four themes from the literature. Where known
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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and where there is either good practice or a
lack of robustness in the evidence, we also
comment on the way others have measured
the value of each theme4. As CRT have recently
embarked on a research programme aimed at
demonstrating the overall wellbeing value of
waterways, a view is given on where identified
gaps align with the ongoing research agenda of
the Trust.
WHAT IS ‘VALUE’?
‘Value’ is a term that can be used in many
different ways; some definitions are therefore
useful. The Oxford Dictionary offers the
following definitions of ‘value’.
These immediately show that while ‘value’ can
be quantifiable and often monetary, the word
can also simply signify importance of
something to individuals.
Conventional economic frameworks of ‘value’
assume that the importance, worth or ‘value’
of various resources can be reliably indicated
by human choices or preferences about how
their welfare wants and needs are met by those
resources, and what they are prepared to
exchange for them (for example time, other
goods, or money). However humans are not
homogeneous and people’s ‘held values’ (e.g.
beliefs and ideals) influence what they prefer
or see as ‘better’ when faced with options. This
‘valuing’ process often leads to some
expression of preference or worth, via words
4 A detailed critique of methodological approaches is beyond the scope of this review. A 2007 review by Glaves et al into
benefits of Inland Waterways did review the robustness of many of the studies to that date; this work may be worth
updating to include recent evidence reports. See Glaves, P, Rotherham, I, Harrison, K, Egan, D (2007) An Initial
Review of the Economic and Other Benefits of Inland Waterways. Summary of Literature and Information Review
with Recommendations. A report for the Inland Waterways Advisory Council July 2007. http://ukeconet.org/wp-
content/uploads/2009/02/Inland-Waterways-Review.pdf
5 Brown, T. (1984) The concept of value in resource allocation Land Economics 60 pp 231-246
or actions5. This ‘assigned value can be
expressed on numerous scales through
numerous measures. Just one of these
measures is money.
Whether or not we believe that all value can be
monetised, the concept of Total Economic
Value is useful in helping categorise the types
of value assigned to any resource, especially
public goods such as natural systems, heritage
and inland waterways. The use and non-use
values which comprise Total Economic Value
are outlined in Figure 1.
Use values
Direct
Use
Value
Direct value of consuming or
using a resource. Eg
consumption of water,
fishing, boating, mooring
fees, recreation, habitat
provision
Indirect
Use
Value
Value derived from using the
services the resource
provides. Eg flood control,
climate regulation,
recreation, businesses
associated with water use
Option
Value
The value of future potential
for use or existence if
needed (eg ensuring viable
natural environment in the
future, or securing potential
future transport use)
Non-Use values
Intrinsic
value
Value of resource (eg
waterway) in and for itself,
even if never used
Legacy
value Value of leaving the resource
intact for future generations
Figure 1: Use and Non-Use values. Adapted from
Valuing Ecosystem Services
http://www.ceeweb.org/work-areas/priority-
areas/ecosystem-services/how-to-value-ecosystem-
services/
noun 1) the regard that something is held to
deserve; importance or worth. 2) material or
monetary worth. 3) (values) principles or
standard
s of behaviour. 4) the numerical
amount denoted by an algebraic term; a
magnitude, quantity, or number.
verb (values, valued, valuing) 1) estimate the
value of. 2) consider important or beneficial.
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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2 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS
As expected, there are many overlaps in the
‘types’ of value. Over recent years there has
been a move from capturing economic and use
value to exploring the more intangible benefits
of natural and heritage ‘public goods’ both to
humans and to natural systems.
However the literature shows that in general,
‘what gets counted counts’ - to be taken
seriously, any attempt to capture value needs
to be able to demonstrate quantifiable
benefits. Ideally, these need to link to
Government or other decision-maker (eg
funder) targets.
2.1 FINDINGS: VALUE THEMES
Recent research activity in Inland Waterways
appears to focus on social wellbeing as a
priority, unsurprising given CRT’s charitable
status and the need to demonstrate wide value
to the public purse as a new funding decision
approaches. In academic work unconnected
with CRT, river restoration (and associated
socio-economic and environmental benefits)
is a growing field, as is the link between
greenspace/natural environments and public
health. Heritage studies are less evident at
present, though networks such as the Heritage
Alliance are attempting to develop evidence
that can feed into current agendas.
HERITAGE
Heritage’ in its broadest sense
(encompassing built, natural, cultural
heritage) can be linked to the following
benefits:
Wellbeing and mental health, through
involvement with education, skills
development and volunteering
Community cohesion and ‘sense of place’
linked to association with heritage
buildings, landscapes or cultural heritage
traditions and memories
Increased property values linked to
desirability of quality heritage
environments
Healthy business activity, including jobs
and skills
Gaps in knowledge relating to inland
waterways include knowledge about the effect
of heritage structures and assets (their
existence, use and quality) on tourism
numbers and activity, especially at honeypot
sites. What is it that attracts?
The main heritage organisations (English
Heritage, Historic England, National Lottery
Heritage Fund) have been active in collating
evidence of value and in developing
approaches to measuring the value of built,
cultural and natural heritage. While most of
this is not waterways-specific, the approaches
taken and the efforts by networks of heritage
organisations to create a robust body of
evidence to influence policy and funding are
very relevant to IWA objectives and it would
be useful to align with existing approaches.
Given the current government policy focus on
‘wellbeing’ (and the move of Canal & River
Trust to being a wellbeing charity), there is a
concern that heritage may be overlooked or
side-lined. The repositioning of heritage
management within the property department
of Canal & River Trust, and the low profile of
heritage issues in their current research,
indicates this as a concern. While waterway-
related projects have received tens of millions
of National Lottery Heritage Fund grant
funding since the organisation was founded,
project reports tend to value heritage for what
it can deliver to society, rather than for its own
sake. There is a need to frame heritage in the
current policy ‘language’ in the short term by
identifying how heritage can contribute to
other priorities, without losing sight of other
aspects of its intrinsic and bequest value to
society.
GREENSPACE AND BLUE-GREEN
INFRASTRUCTURE
There is a growing body of evidence on
benefits associated with the broad theme of
blue and greenspace that is applicable to
inland waterways. Inland waterways
undoubtedly form or can form - part of the
networks of green infrastructure, enhancing
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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not only environmental but human health.
Key benefits include:
ecosystem health, particularly through the
network aspects of green-blue
infrastructure
climate change adaptation, including urban
cooling and drainage/water transfer
functions, as well as encouraging non-car
transport.
physical and mental human health -
greenspaces are a cost-effective leisure,
health resource
social cohesion and sense of place derived
from safe, quality greenspace
financial value of quality greenspace as a
setting for development.
These are evident in waterway corridor
strategies, for example, Sheffield6; river basin
management plans7 and, on a canal level,
Birmingham’s planned ‘blue corridor’
strategy8. Worldwide, there is a growing focus
on issues surrounding flooding, drainage and
adaptation to future climate change; research
into technological solutions is ongoing.
HEALTH & WELLBEING
It can be seen that some greenspace benefits
are similar to those derived from heritage and
that they deliverhealth & wellbeing’, which
was examined as a separate theme due to its
current prominence. Review of blue-green
space benefits in general show that, to be taken
seriously, it is important to be able to
demonstrate quantifiable benefits. Ideally,
these need to link to Government targets such
as Environmental Accounts and health service
savings. The health of natural environments is
not sufficient in its own right, but the concept
of ecosystem services to humans is useful in
examining the benefits that natural systems
offer to human wellbeing. This quantification
of benefits is driving Canal & River Trust
6 Sheffield City Council (2014) Sheffield Waterway Strategy
https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/content/sheffield/home/planning-development/sheffield-waterways-strategy.html
7 UK Govt. River Basin Management Plans https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/river-basin-management-plans-
2015
8 Birmingham City Council (2013) Green Living Spaces Plan
https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/832/green_living_spaces_plan.pdf
research with the development of indicators
and studies to try and monetise benefits.
The recent repositioning of Canal & River
Trust as a Wellbeing charity is linked to a
programme of research to develop a sound
evidence base to support future funding and
government buy-in. Given the increasing focus
on the social benefits of heritage, green space
and healthy activities and the clear policy
focus on these areas by government and
funders - there is scope for research to
complement that of Canal & River Trust and
heritage organisations such as Historic
England. Key aspects of wellbeing identified
that are relevant to inland waterways include:
Physical and mental health linked to
exercise, fresh air, safe recreation and
tranquillity
Enjoyment of leisure time and access to
leisure resources
‘Sense of place’, including through shared
interests and volunteering
Skills development and employability as
economic security is key to people’s
wellbeing.
These are being well-addressed by the ongoing
CRT research as well as studies of the effect of
greenspace and proximity to water on health.
However there is little attention being given to
the effect on wellbeing of active participation
in activity such as restoration volunteering, for
example. Equally, while ‘life is better by water’
is the new CRT strapline, there appears to be
little research into the difference in wellbeing
linked to being near active or inactive water.
Do moving boats, for example, make a
difference to enjoyment and wellbeing?
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT &
REGENERATION
Over decades of evolving policy priorities
among waterways stakeholders, economic
development has remained central.
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Demonstrating the positive regeneration
impact on local areas has been a core aspect of
many, if not most, restoration feasibility
studies and many inland waterways-related
funding bids. Looking at how economic
development and the health of areas is
measured, the key value areas identified
include:
Direct income from visitors
Indirect income through supply chains,
secondary spending and attracting new
business.
Job and skills creationquality as well as
quantity
Housing quality and price
Reuse of brownfield former industrial land
for new functions
Urban and rural regeneration which
includes enhancing all the areas above to
improve an area.
Given the decline in central government
funding for Canal & River Trust and in local
authority budgets, the impending loss of
European funding and reductions in Lottery
funding available, being able to demonstrate
economic benefits of any project or activity
to the local area is likely to become
increasingly important. Canal & River Trust
has commissioned studies on the assessment
of waterside regeneration and development,
and on the effect of waterway proximity on
house prices, to be completed in 2018/19.
However there appears to be little research in
the pipeline addressing the contribution of
active (and in particular, navigable and
navigated) water to economic and tourism
value. There was also nothing found relating
to the importance of boaters’ facilities (a
current IWA Gap Tracker campaign) to the
continued health of existing navigations.
2.2 NEXT STEPS: ISSUES &
RECOMMENDATIONS
This review as carried out was intended to
inform potential future activity by IWA. This
can be on several levels: focusing in on specific
themes of relevance to IWA objectives,
identifying strategic partnerships to develop
in building an evidence base, and considering
what individual branches and projects aligned
to IWA can do to help evidence themes of
interest to IWA’s objectives.
DETERMINE IWA FOCUS AREAS
As highlighted, waterways are many things to
many people. IWA’s objectives support the
widest possible use of the waterways. With the
move of Canal & River Trust into the third
sector and its agenda of widening
participation, the question of the role of the
IWA has been raised how far should the
IWA’s remit go? Should it focus on, for
example, the ecological and water
management aspects of Inland Waterways,
many of which are rivers?
Historically IWA membership’s expertise is in
campaigning for restoration to navigation and
active use by boats of the network’s industrial
heritage. Heritage for heritage’s sake is low on
the government/decision-making agenda at
present; therefore there is a need for stronger
evidence on the benefits waterways heritage
(built, natural and cultural) can offer to other
agendas.
The Waterways in Progress report sends a
clear message about the early, ongoing and
wide-ranging benefits of restoration projects.
Supporting this with additional evidence from
non-waterways projects and research would
add to the robustness of this report. To
enhance joint working potential it would be
useful if, in particular, the messages and
evidence could align with CRT Outcome
Measurement Framework indicators.
The CRT work into the wellbeing value of
waterways pays surprisingly little attention to
the value of waterways as navigations (or
potential future navigations) to wellbeing
outcomes, though it is known through the
popularity of ‘honeypot’ sites that the presence
of boats adds interest. There is therefore an
important role for IWA to influence the design
of future CRT-led work being planned in order
to ensure that their evaluation framework and
evidence base includes adequate reference to
navigation concerns and other areas identified
as IWA priorities.
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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STRENGTHEN STRATEGIC
PARTNERSHIPS
It is hoped that the information in this report
helps IWA decide where it does not have
expertise or interest; however it may be that it
can share knowledge gaps with partners while
focusing on its own priorities. Given the
plethora of other organisations with
potentially overlapping goals, IWA should
decide and focus on key partnerships to
improve impact of its work. These could
include:
Canal & River Trust Canal & River
Trust’s research programme is very
detailed but has room for refinement. At
present evaluation of any added-value from
the presence of boats and boating on
waterways has a very low profile in the
measurement framework and in proposed
research. IWA in its traditional ‘pressure
group’ role could seek to shape the
direction and focus of this research. For
example, the External Reference Group for
ongoing research currently has no
navigation experts9; IWA could offer
9 The External Reference Group currently comprises: Paul Allin, former director of the ONS Measuring Wellbeing
programme; Judy Cligman, Director of Strategy & Business Devt at HLF; Anne Marie Connolly, Dep Director Health
Equity & Mental health, Public Health England; Stephen Gibbons, Prof of Economic Geography, LSE; Iona Joy, New
Philanthropy Capital; Philippa Lynch, Local Govt Assoc Care and Health improvement Programme senior data analyst;
Ewen McKinnon Cabinet office Analysis and Insight Team.
10 Action Plans for all the working groups can be found here http://www.heritage2020.net/working-groups/
services here. Their first report encourages
sharing plans and information.
Other navigation authorities such as
the Environment Agency, through
coordinated action
The Heritage Alliance. IWA is a
member of the Heritage 2020 initiative to
strengthen partnerships and collaborative
working across the historic environment
sector, though is not on the working groups
which are currently carrying out research to
build an evidence base10. A new strategy to
2025 is being launched early in 2019 for
consultation; IWA should be involved in
this. The working groups are: Helping
things to happen; Public engagement;
Capacity building; Constructive
conservation and sustainable management;
and Discovery, identification and
understanding
Historic England as a government body
championing the historic environment
(funded by DCMS) has an active, well-
funded research department and annual
themed ‘Heritage Counts’ reports. Its
collections are, since 2015, run by English
Heritage. Like Canal & River Trust, this
cares for a huge collection of heritage
structures and landscapes, under an
agreement with government funders that
runs to 2023. There is therefore a lot of
scope for aligning contributions to research
into the value of the historic waterways
environment.
Local Economic Partnerships or a
particular local authority such as
Birmingham. LEPs are networks of local
authorities, businesses and other
organisations straddling boundaries; they
help determine local economic priorities
and lead economic growth and job creation
within local areas. Hence, establishing the
importance of inland waterways as
catalysts for economic growth and
regeneration within these is useful.
IWA ACTION POINTS
Determine and agree priority themes for
research and networking focus
particularly around the v
alue of
waterways heritage and value of ‘active’
waterways
Continue
promotion of ‘Waterways in
Progress’ case studies to include
additional evidence from this review and
elsewhere
Seek to engage with stakeholders to
ensure navigation and heritage are
integrated into research frameworks
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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Town and Country Planning
Association or Royal Town Planning
Institute. The Planning System has great
influence over the use of canals into the
future. Given the National Planning Policy
Framework (NPPF) presumption in favour
of sustainable development in the absence
of up-to-date development plans, ensuring
robust and suitable guidance is in place is
essential to ensure appropriate
development and secure canal lines for
future restorations. The TCPA has
produced previous guidance; there is
potential for the many experienced
planners within IWA to support continued
updating of this.
SMALL-SCALE INCREMENTAL
ACTIONS
It was raised during discussions that branches
or project groups would welcome suggestions
on what they can do to advance the ‘value of
waterways’ agenda. The advice to projects
seeking funding is applicable herethis can be
paraphrased as: rather than identifying your
goals and finding a funder to match them,
identify sources of funding and see how your
project can be packaged to meet those goals.
11 Canal & River Trust and The Inland Waterways Association (2015) Local Plans: Delivering inland waterway
restoration projects in England and Wales https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/refresh/media/thumbnail/9949-planning-
document.pdf
12 Hedge, R, & Nash, A, (2016) Assessing the Value of Community-generated Historic Environment Research.
Commissioned for Historic England. Accessed at
http://research.historicengland.org.uk/Report.aspx?i=15842&ru=%2fResults.aspx%3fp%3d1%26n%3d10%26t%3dvalu
e%26ns%3d1
Funding or policy ‘hooks’ such as those for the
NPPF11 should be examined closely.
Securing influence. Individual branches are
in a good position to influence local
planning policy development - being able to
draw on evidence to support arguments is
useful
Designing projects with assessment in
mind this has become more common
since the advent of funders such as National
Lottery Heritage Fund who require
auditable evidence of outputs. However, as
highlighted by Historic England,12 too
much knowledge is lost in archives of small
projects once they are completed or never
recorded at all - and there is scope for a
national repository of project data.
To help guide the advocacy and evidence-
based work of local branches, and of regions,
developing a ‘checklist’ of priority areas which
align to IWA and other partner objectives
would be helpful. This would include priorities
shared with other organisations and main
areas where indicators could be shown. While
not dictating how branches or projects
operate, this checklist of ‘how you can help
build the bigger picture’ may assist members
to add value to work they are already doing or
planning. Thus the knowledge developed in
disparate projects is not lost. Canal & River
Trust is planning to review and analyse
projects it is involved in the methodology
when known could be adopted so as to align
information approaches.
IWA ACTION POINTS
Map existing strategic networks and
contacts and upcoming reviews of action
plans that IWA would like to input to.
Identify priority alliances for IWA
objectives and focus on developing these
Seek to join Canal & River Trust’s
External Reference Group
for ongoing
research
Explore ways of bringing heritage into
the ‘wellbeing’ conversation
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FURTHER WORK NEEDED
The principal ‘gap’ in knowledge at present is
robust evidence of how the presence of boats
or water-based activity adds value to
waterways. There is scope for IWA or partners
to address the value of navigation and ‘active
water’ through a targeted study of tourism,
leisure, business or housing areas with varying
levels of activity. This may be able to build on
some of the planned CRT research. Adding a
‘counterfactual’ case study area of a non-
navigated or little-used waterway (whether
owned by CRT or not) for example would
strengthen their research this would need to
be added soon if it is to make a useful
contribution to the evidence base.
3 CHRONOLOGY OF PREVIOUS WORK ON THE
VALUE & BENEFITS OF INLAND WATERWAYS
Studies of the values associated with inland
waterways have come in tranches, often
associated with a particular government,
policy or funding change. The following
section is a chronological summary of the
main ‘overview’ reports and developments in
key organisations.
The 1968 Transport Act recognised that the
future for most of British Waterways (BW)
canals and rivers lay in their use for amenity
and recreation, with only about 20% of their
system designated as commercial waterways.
This Act also set up the statutory body IWAAC
(Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory
Council) to advise on matters affecting the use
of BW navigations for recreation and amenity.
In practice, IWAAC research and reports were
influential in shaping government policy over
the coming decades and putting waterways as
leisure and economic assets in the foreground.
In 2007, IWAAC became IWAC (Inland
Waterways Advisory Council) with a remit for
advising the government on all inland
waterways. It was abolished in 2010 when
British Waterways moved into the third sector
as Canal & River Trust. AINA (the Association
of Inland Navigation Authorities) remains;
this was set up in 1996 to bring together inland
navigation authorities and provide a single
voice on waterway management issues in
Great Britain. Like IWAAC/IWAC, AINA has
developed an evidence base supported by case
studies during its time.
3.1 WATERWAY REVIVAL AT
THE END OF THE 20TH CENTURY
During the 1990s, inland waterways gradually
made it onto the Government agenda and the
evidence body on the value of restoring inland
waterways was growing. Much of this was
advocacy literature or commissioned research
to support individual restoration projects.
However, the completion of several high-
profile waterway projects such as the
IWA ACTION POINTS
Consider developing a repository for local
projects and branch activities to enable
better capturing of information.
Consider how to share/capture
information on priority areas where
branches can add to the ‘value of
waterways’ evidence base. IWA ACTION POINTS
Define categories of ‘active water’ and
‘navigation’ and seek to research effect of
these on the benefits of waterways
compared with non-active water.
Consider annual updating of this literature
review as a ‘what we know’ resource
document, in
the absence of a
comprehensive archive or library of
evidence.
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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Huddersfield Narrow and Kennet & Avon
Canals led to increasing recognition of the
social, economic and environmental benefits
of restoring and caring for inland waterways.
British Waterways, long an ‘obstacle’ in
restoration schemes, began to come onside. In
1997, BW and Environment Agency took the
lead in setting up the Association of Inland
Navigation Authorities (AINA). For the first
time, there was a single voice representing the
interests of navigation authorities and a forum
where management issues could be discussed.
Publications
Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory
Council (1997)
Britain’s Inland
Waterways - An Undervalued Asset13
This comprehensive report drew together a
range of studies from individual projects to
prese
nt a policy case for government
intervention, funding and strategic support
of the inland waterway network as well as
further research. It highlighted and
started to collate evidence for the ‘new’
values associated with waterways. The
foreword states: “Britain's canals and rivers
are important to leisure and recreation,
heritage, tourism and environment.”
In 1999, AINA published Steering a
Fresh Course14, the first national strategy
for the waterways. This stimulated the
Government to publish Unlocking the
potential: A new framework for BW15
the same year which set out a package of
measures, founded on partnership, to
enable the full potential of British
Waterways' canals and rivers to be realised
13 Britain's Inland Waterways: An Undervalued Asset: IWAAC March 1996 followed by Britain's Inland Waterways: An
Undervalued Asset: Final Recommendations: IWAAC June 1997
https://www.waterways.org.uk/pdf/iwac/britain_inland_waterways_an_undervalued_asset_iwaac_final_recommens
ations_june_1997
14 AINA (1999) Steering a Fresh Course: A Strategy for the Inland Navigations of the United Kingdom
15 DETR (1999) Unlocking the potential: a new future for British Waterways
16 IWAAC (1998) Waterway Restoration Priorities:
http://issuu.com/waterwaysassoc/docs/1998_restoration_report?mode=window&viewMode=doublePage
17 DETR (2000) Waterways for Tomorrow
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20091118142143/http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/documents/countryside/
waterways/waterways-for-tomorrow.pdf
18 DET (1998) A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone. White Paper
https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.dft.gov.uk/about/strategy/whitepapers/previous/anewdeal
fortransportbetterfo5695
Publications
and to allow as many people as possible to
enjoy and benefit from them. This heralded
an increased Government grant to tackle the
safety
maintenance backlog and improve
operational standards, while providing
strong political support for BW’s
partnerships with the private sector,
particularly for regeneration projects.
Restoration priorities began to be collated
and priorities, for example through
IWAAC’s 1998 Waterway Restoration
Priorities report16; these overview reports
of the state of the restoration field have
continued each shows where priorities are
alig
ned to both strategic need and which
projects are most likely to attract funding.
Annexe A to the 1998 report set out some
nature conservation and heritage criteria
but stressed how projects should
demonstrate economic or other benefits
DETR’s (2000) Waterways for
Tomorrow17 was a 'daughter document' to
the Government’s 1998 White Paper A New
Deal for Transport18. It was the outcome
of the first comprehensive Government
review of the whole of the inland waterways
system in England and Wales since the
Transport Act 1968. It drew heavily on the
evidence from the 1997 and 1998 IWAAC
reports and recognised the new roles of
waterways. The document
sought to
"promote the inland waterways,
encouraging a modern, integrated and
sustainable approach to their use" - it set out
the Government's view that the myriad uses
of the waterways are complementary and it
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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Publications
is possible to accommodate them all; the
document
committed to supporting
waterways through the planning system. It
linked indicators to the 1999
Quality of
Life Counts19
sustainability framework
which at that time influenced much policy.
3.2 NEW LABOUR & THE
HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND
YEARS - 2000-2008
Following the Millennium Projects
(particularly the Kennet & Avon, Huddersfield
Narrow and Falkirk Wheel), a new wave of
Lottery-funded projects appeared - the new
‘canal mania’. This phase saw a rise in
assessment of the social and community
benefits of waterways to demonstrate how
Lottery objectives were being met. A coherent
framework for the Inland Waterways was
developed, which stemmed from the
Waterways for Tomorrow document produced
by Defra.
There was also an early recognition of the
benefits of incremental restoration. Canal &
River Trust changed during the early part of
the decade from being an obstacle to
restoration to actively enabling restorations,
leading partnerships for projects such as the
Cotswolds and Droitwich restorations.
As well as many case-specific studies, several
widely-applicable studies were commissioned
to draw together evidence about the value of
inland waterway IWAAC (Inland Waterways
Amenity Advisory Council, covering just BW
waters and leisure/amenity issues) was
replaced in 2007 by IWAC (Inland Waterways
Advisory Council) with a widened remit of
advising the Government on all aspects of
inland waterway policy.
19 DETR (1999) Quality of Life Counts: Indicators for a strategy of sustainable development for the United Kingdom: a
baseline assessment. December 1999
20 IWAAC (2005) Just Add Water. How our inland waterways can do more for rural regeneration. A practical guide. Sep
2005. http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/media/documents/publications/IWAAC_Just_Add_Water_Sept_2005.pdf
21 IWAC (2009) Using Inland Waterways to combat the effects of social exclusion
https://www.waterways.org.uk/pdf/iwac/using_inland_waterways_to_combat_effects_of_social_exclusion_
IWAAC and IWAC produced a large number of
reports during this decade. The robustness of
the evidence was sometimes questionable,
particularly for hard-to-measure social
impacts. Many of IWAAC/IWAC reports took
benefits as ‘givens’ and focused instead on
mechanisms for ensuring development
schemes delivered these. Evidence for benefits
was anecdotal case by case. However, the
range of identified benefits which water could
deliver, and the range of potential
beneficiaries, widened enormously and clear
trends became evident about the potential for
water to add value.
Publications
IWAAC (2001)
Planning a Future for
the Inland Waterways
A Good
Practice Guide focused
on three key
areas, the role of the planning system, how
to create succes
sful projects, and how to
deliver successful projects. Looks at
maximising the economic, social and
environmental contribution to urban and
rural areas
IWAAC then IWAC commissioned research
through this period to demonstrate how
waterways benefits could
be applied to
many areas. Examples include
Just Add Water to guide development
of waterways as part of rural
regeneration20 - this focused on how to
access value from commercial operations
to secure delivery of not-for-profit local
services in a waterside ‘hub’.
Using Inland Waterways to
combat the effects of social
exclusion21 used case study research to
show how waterways engagement can
support engagement with certain groups.
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Publications
In 2007,
IWAC reviewed progress since
Waterways for Tomorrow (WFT) in The
Inl
and Waterways of England and
Wales in 200722
This stressed the
growing leisure boating use and the value of
leisure and tourism as regeneration
catalysts, though warned of hotspots with
insufficient supply. It highlighted how
increasing access for all increased the value
to society overall but highlighted patchy
implementation and a need to secure more
community benefit from regeneration
schemes. The built and natural environment
remained linked together in one chapter.
The report highlighted how other legislation
and policies23 had prompted environmental
improvement, and how better liaison with
other heritage organisations (English
Heritage and CADW) had improved
management of built heritage. Concerns
were raised then about the effect of reduced
funding on b
uilt heritage, which has less
statutory protection than natural. Freight
was supported, though its decline noted the
value of waterways in regeneration was key
to WFT and the years to 2007 showed huge
progress –
the review referenced studies
into the impact of restoration showing the
value in terms of visitor numbers, spend,
jobs and regeneration.
The review highlighted emerging values,
with new challenges and opportunities.
These were:
The opportunity to protect and enhance
the natural environment, including using
waterways for climate change mitigation
22 IWAC October 2007 The Inland Waterways of England and Wales in 2007. What has been achieved since Waterways
of Tomorrow in June 2000 and what needs to be done.
https://www.waterways.org.uk/pdf/iwac/waterways_for_tomorrow_review
23 Such as the Water Act 2003, Landfill Directive, Habitats Directive, Water Framework Directive
24 ECOTEC (2014a) The Economic Impact of the Restoration of the Kennet and Avon Canal
https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/8009-kennet-and-avon.pdf
25 ECOTEC (2003) The Cotswold Canal Restoration: Appraisal of Economic Impacts.
https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/6342.pdf
26 ECOTEC (2014b) The economic impact of restoring the Huddersfield Narrow and Rochdale Canals
https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/6344.pdf
27 British Waterways (2003) Waterways and Development Plans
http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/media/documents/publications/Waterways_and_Development_Plans.pdf
Publications
The growth of public health and
proactive health measures in the
government agenda
The value of waterways in enabling
community cohesion
Power of joined up action
Economic evaluations of the impact of
seve
ral canal restoration
projects24,25,26 highlighted improvements
to property markets, increased leisure and
tourism expenditure and improved
economic activity; they also evaluated
capacity to increase business and leisure
activities. These took a wide-ranging
approach to benefits calculation using
different methodologies to those used in
planning the restorations years earlier.
However they established modelling
approaches for calculating direct and
indirect supply-side and demand-side
effects linked to waterway restoration; this
evidence has been used in subsequent
analysis of other areas.
The activity in canal restoration and
regeneration led to guidance being
produced for councils and planners on how
best to tap into the community and physical
regeneration p
otential while maximising
other benefits. In 2003 BW’s Waterways
and Development Plans27 reviewed
policy at all levels and drew on case studies
of policy interventions to show how
planning authorities could overcome
challenges and make the most of their
waterways. It replaced an earlier 1992
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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Publications
document The Waterway
Environment and Development
Plans. This guide drew on IWAAC evidence
of benefits but added little additional data.
It did however show how good planning
could ‘draw out’ and maximise value.
AINA’s 2003 Demonstrating the Value
of Waterways28 guidance again added no
data itself, but detailed how schemes could
measure and assess the benefits waterways
could add to schemes in order to leverage
funding and build delivery partnerships.
The benefits-led approach advocated linked
closely to the Quality of Life Counts
sustainability indicators; the guidance also
stressed the importance of aligning
identified benefits with the objectives of
other interested organisations.
The excellent 2009 BW/Town & Country
Planning Association policy advice note
Unlocking the potential and securing
the future of Inland Waterways
through the Planning System29
continued this theme, helping planners
support and shape waterway-related
development through detailed examples
and guidance; it highlighted a range of more
local or topic-specific reports which could
help make best use of waterway value,
drawing on some of the ECOTEC work. It
highlighted a lack of credible and robust
evidence to support planning policies at all
levels “to protect and promote water-based
transport, tourism and leisure”.
28 AINA (2003) Demonstrating the Value of Waterways. A good practice guide to the appraisal of restoration and
regeneration projects https://www.aina.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Demonstratingvalueofwaterways.pdf
29 Town & Country Planning Association for British Waterways (2009) Policy Advice Note: Inland Waterways. Unlocking
the Potential and Securing the Future of Inland Waterways through the Planning System
https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/refresh/media/thumbnail/30984-planning-advice-note-inland-waterways.pdf
30 AINA (2003) Safeguarding the waterway environment: priorities for research. Report of the AINA Working group
on the Environmental Impacts of Waterways Users https://www.aina.org.uk/wp-
content/uploads/2018/04/Safeguardingwaterwayenv.pdf
31 IWAC (2009) Balancing the needs of navigation and aquatic wildlife
https://www.waterways.org.uk/pdf/iwac/aquatic_wildlife
Publications
AINA (2003)
Safeguarding the
waterway environment: priorities
for research. Report of the AINA Working
group on the Environmental Impacts of
Waterways Users30
. This report identified
uses
of waterways from other sources,
categorising these into Navigation activities,
Bank Uses, Operational Uses and ‘Other’
uses or activities. Recognising that
increased use of inland waterways could
impact (for good or bad) the waterway
environment, it focused on environmental
impacts of these uses on the flora and fauna,
water, bank and other associated impacts.
A more in-depth study funded by DEFRA
and published by IWAC in 2009
Balancing the needs of navigation
and aquatic wildlife31
highlighted the
importa
nce of waterways for nature
conservation many canals have developed
into rich habitats though only 10% of the
system is rich enough in flora or fauna to be
protected. This specific focus on the
ecological value of inland waterways in
balance with navigat
ion was uncommon
before this time; the late 2000s were also a
time when research into river restoration
and ecosystems grew.
The first critical analysis of evidence for
some time was carried out by Glaves, P,
Rotherham, I, Harrison, K, Egan, D (2007)
An
Initial Review of the Economic
and Other Benefits of Inland
Waterways. Summary of Literature
and Information Review with
Recommendations. A report for the
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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Publications
Inland Waterways Advisory
Council32. This report reviewed the
Types of use (direct, indirect, formal,
informal) of inland waterways in the UK
Approaches to measuring these, with a
view expressed on the robustness of data
and the methods used to calculate this.
Glaves et al concluded that despite
limitations of available evidence and
weaknesses inherent i
n many analyses,
there were clear indications of impacts and
activities. Their analysis was useful in that
they recommended a more robust primary
study on the economic benefits of inland
waterways in a proposed phase 2 and 3 it
does not appear that any follow-
on work
was done from this, however, until the
JACOBS work which again was a review of
previous studies.
From the mid-2000s, new approaches to
measuring the value of natural assets emerged
with the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment33
and the use of ecosystem services assessments
- essentially, categorising and valuing the
services and benefits that natural processes
deliver to humans, rather than the processes
or assets themselves. This new approach was
particularly applied to the growing field of
urban river research and blue-green cities
which has great potential for mutual synergies
with research on inland waterway navigations.
Mark Everard’s Rediscovering the Value of
Urban Rivers34 forms a succinct introduction
to this area.
32 Glaves, P, Rotherham, I, Harrison, K and Egan, D (2007) An initial review of the economic and other benefits of
Inland Waterways. Summary of Literature and information review with recommendations. Report for IWAC. Available
at: http://ukeconet.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/Inland-Waterways-Review.pdf
33 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Website https://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/index.html
34 Everard, M. & Moggridge, H.L. (2012) Rediscovering the value of urban rivers. Urban Ecosystems (2012) 15: 293-314.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-011-0174-7
35 IWAC (2010) Surviving the cuts and securing the future. The funding and structure of the inland waterways in
England and Wales. September 2010.
https://www.waterways.org.uk/pdf/iwac/surviving_the_cuts_and_securing_the_future
36 Jacobs (2009) Benefits of Inland Waterways http://www.waterways-forward.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/The-
Benefits-of-Inland-Waterways_Final-Report-July-2009_JACO.pdf
3.3 AUSTERITY AND THE
TRANSFER FROM BW TO CANAL
& RIVER TRUSTTO 2012
The economic crisis from 2008 dried up flows
of finance for restorations, prompting some
refocus of assessment work to demonstrate
economic benefits.
IWAC’s Surviving the cuts and securing
the future35 (2010) warned that because the
value of the benefits of the inland waterway
network is not well understood, targeting
areas to make expenditure cuts based on an
assessment of where public benefits will be
least badly hit will, at best, be approximate and
to some extent arbitrary. This spurred further
research into known and emerging values.
The decision in 2010 to move management of
BW waterways into a new charity was
informed by and informed - some new
research reviewing benefits of inland
waterways. With the creation of Canal & River
Trust, IWAC (with its statutory role as advisor
to government) was abolished. This has left
the research needed to guide policy
development in the hands of individual
navigation authorities and AINA, as well as
advocacy bodies such as IWA.
Publications
Jacobs’ Value of Inland Waterways study
which began with a 2009
Benefits of
Inland Waterways assessment36 and
concluded with a final report on the Value
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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Publications
of Inland Waterways in 201137 was a
comprehensive attempt to capture a wide
ra
nge of values and examine how these
would be affected under different scenarios.
Taking an ecosystems services approach it
looked at a much wider range of benefits
than previously identified or evaluated.
This report informed government thinking
as BW was
moved into the third sector.
Jacobs identified public benefits as
including recreation and health benefits;
amenity (reflected in property value uplift);
transport (time and carbon reductions);
renewable energy (energy and carbon);
water provision; and non-use values such as
those relating to industrial and transport
heritage. They highlighted cross-cutting
benefits arising from complex interaction
between several ecosystem services. These
were Physical and M
ental health from
exercise and from greenspace, plus tourism
benefits associated with branding of a place
which attracts visitors.
The detailed literature matrix38 behind the
two reports reviewed literature on benefits
transfer, plus all relevant valuation studies
(economic welfare and economic impact) to
determine benefit transfer values in a
consistent format. As part of this Jacobs
evaluated sources for the robustness of their
approaches to valuation. For those
community, education and ‘non-use’ values,
only anecdotal information existed.
37 Jacobs (2011) Value of Inland Waterways. Final Report. Available at:
http://issuu.com/waterwaysassoc/docs/value_of_the_inland_waterways_e_w_11_08?mode=window&viewMode=do
ublePage
38 It has not been possible to obtain the detailed literature matrix, only summaries of this.
39 IWAC (2010) Making More Use of Waterside Paths http://issuu.com/waterwaysassoc/docs/waterside_paths_10_11_-
_main_report?mode=window&viewMode=doublePage
40 British Waterways (2004) WaterWays - Inland Waterways and Sustainable rural transport
http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/media/documents/publications/Water_Ways_Sustainable_Rural_Transport.pdf
41DEFRA (2011) Impact Assessment for moving inland waterways into a new charity in England and Wales
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/82261/NWC-IA-
FINAL.pdf
42 Informed by Lloyd, S, Hudson, M, Bennett, M (for British Waterways), Setting a new course: British Waterways in the
third sector (November 2009) http://www.compasspartnership.co.uk/pdf/BWSNC.pdf
43 Willis, K and Garrod, G (1991) Valuing open access recreation on inland waterways Regional Studies
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00343409112331346687
Publications
Making more use of Waterside paths
(2010)39 case studies tapped into leisure
and recreation access agendas as non-
navigation values of waterways rose up the
agenda
; in part this built on 2004 good
practice guidance WaterWays - Inland
Waterways and Sustainable rural
transport40
. Subsequent partnerships
with SUSTRANS have led to upgrading of
towpaths and significant growth in cycling
use.
DEFRA (2011) Impact Assessment for
moving inland waterways into a new
charity in England and Wales41. This
report did not add new data evidencing
benefits but drew on the Jacobs report to
highlight how inland waterways are a classic
non-marketable ‘public good’. Nevertheless
it gave a strong steer on how waterways
should form part of ‘Big Society’ as a focus
for community activity and responsibility42,
with reduced public funding. Interestingly,
one of only three references used in the
impact assessment was the 20 year old
Willis & Garrod’s 1991 study Valuing
Open Access Recreation on Inland
Waterways43
; this indicates a need for
updated research into recreational use and
value.
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Publications
To attract private sector, government and
third sector funding, Canal & River Trust
has had to continue to demonstrate the
value of investment and work done to date.
It therefore commissioned the University of
Northampton to produce a 2014 Review of
the Impact of Waterway
Restoration44
which collated existing
evidence of benefits for a final report
Water Adds Value45
. This evaluation
based on seven case study restorations was
useful in that it gave all values in 2012
prices.
3.4 WATERWAYS FOR WELL-
BEING THE NEW CANAL &
RIVER TRUST AGENDA
As the first funding period for Canal & River
Trust as a charity approaches its end, securing
government support and future funding is
essential for the continued operation and
maintenance of its waterways. At the same
time, funding for the Environment Agency is
being squeezed.
In 2018, Canal & River Trust rebranded itself
as a ‘wellbeing’ charity with the strapline ‘Life
is better by water’. As part of this they have
commissioned an ambitious programme of
research for highest impact any upcoming
IWA studies should attempt to tie into strands
of this and/or complement research in areas
where they do not yet have up-to-date
evidence.
44 Hazenberg, R. & Bajwa-Patel, M.(2014) The Impact of Waterway Restoration. Available at
https://www.waterways.org.uk/waterways/restoration/restoration_resources/pdfs/northampton_university_study
45 Canal and River Trust & Inland Waterways Association (2014) Water Adds Value Summary report
https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/6568.pdf
46 University of Sheffield (2011) Urban River Corridors and Sustainable Living Agendas. Press Release. At
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/doncatchment/work/projects/ursula
47 River Restoration Centre. (ND. Website at https://www.therrc.co.uk/river-restoration
48 Wild, T, Bernet, J, Westling, E and Lerner, D (2011) Deculverting: reviewing the evidence on the ‘daylighting’ and
restoration of culverted rivers. Water & Environment Journal Vol 25: 3 pp412-421. September 2011
49 Everard, M, Moggridge, H (2012) Rediscovering the value of urban rivers Urban Ecosystems. Vol 15:2 pp293-394
50 Canal & River Trust (2017) Waterways and Wellbeing. Building the Evidence base: First Outcomes report. September
2017. At https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/refresh/media/thumbnail/33802-canal-and-river-trust-outcomes-report-
waterways-and-wellbeing-full-report.pdf
Alongside the rising interest in canal
restoration and changing attitudes to inland
waterways regeneration benefits, the field of
river and stream restoration gained
traction during the late 2000s worldwide.
While much of this research is around
ecological and water management
improvements, many themes coincide with
those associated with Inland Waterways.
Sheffield University, for example, ran the
multi-disciplinary Urban River Corridors &
Sustainable Living Agendas (URSULA)46
project examining how to derive benefits from
integrated development along the Don. The
River Restoration Centre47 grew in profile,
building an evidence base about the
regeneration as well as ecological benefits of
re-naturalising and de-culverting48 streams
and rivers in the UK and Europe. The
ecosystem services approach has been well-
used in this field as a means of capturing
different values49.
Publications
Canal & River Trust’s recent Waterways
and Wellbeing First Outcomes
Report50 is a summary of the approach to
a very comprehensive set of research
seeking to build an evidence base which
demonstrates the value of waterways to
‘wellbeing’
. Core to this is assembling an
evidence measurement and evaluation
structure in collaboration with key partners
They are measuring and evaluating
outcomes at national level through the
Waterway Engagement Monitor, local level
through detailed studies of trends in
THE VALUE OF INLAND WATERWAYS A LITERATURE REVIEW & SCOPING REPORT
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Publications
fourteen representative sections of
waterway corridor nationwide, and at
project level through evaluations of all
externally funded/contracted projects
promoted by Canal & River Trust
. The
Longitudinal Study Areas are balanced by
identical studies of two ‘counterfactual’
study areas to use as ‘controls’. A series of
desired outcomes and measurement
indicators have been developed or
proposed:
Health, Wellbeing & Happiness (physical
& mental health)
Engaged People & Cohesive
Communities (wide opportunities, safety
and engagement)
Learning & Enhancing Skills (education
and lifelong learning)
Prosperous & Connected Places
(economic growth, regeneration and
development)
Green & Blue futures (sustainable
transport, energy and water resourcing)
Cultural & Environmental Assets
(Culture, heritage, biodiversity &
stewardship)
As part of Canal & River Trust’s research
programme, further work has been
commissioned or planned
along five
themes:
Effect of waterways on anxiety
Waterways and community wellbeing
Waterways and urban cooling
Waterways and visitor economy
Publications
Water resourcing and land drainage
system
The First Outcomes Report indicates that
work is being commissioned to measure
return on investment of towpath
improvements; understand factors which
impact towpath use; apply wider research
findings on ‘sense of place’ to waterways;
measure the effect on property prices of
water proximity; model urban cooling
effects of inland waterways; update
knowledge on drainage
functions; and
understand with British Marine - the
impact of the waterway-
related visitor
economy.
Notable - and concerning - in the framework
is the very low profile of boating and boaters
and the effect of active water on benefits.
However one useful angle to Canal & River
Trust’s work is the intention to collate and
capture data and outcomes generated by
other organisations who use their
waterways; an audit of all organisations
having a contractual relationship with Canal
& River Trust has been carried out to start
this. This kind of work may start to address
the fragmented nature of evidence.
Freight has reappeared on the Canal & River
Trust agenda as a result of a 2017 Strategy
for Waterborne Freight51
followed by
ongoing European-funded feasibility
studies52
Research into water management and
climate change mitigation is ongoing, and
Canal & River Trust have also sponsored a
PhD examining canal living on London’s
canals53
51 Canal & River Trust (2014) A Proposed Strategy for Waterborne Freight.
https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/original/6213-a-proposed-strategy-for-waterborne-freight.pdf?v=96c75f
52 Inland Waterways Transport Solutions is an Interreg North Sea region research programme between CRT, University
of Hull in the UK, and several European waterway authorities an academic institutions
https://northsearegion.eu/iwts20/about-iwts/
53 PhD advertisement at https://www.qmul.ac.uk/geog/media/geography/docs/pgadmissions/ESRC-CASE-Staying-
afloat-full-details.pdf
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4 HERITAGE
4.1 WHAT IS ‘HERITAGE’?
DEFINITIONS AND VALUES
Canals as industrial heritage is one of the most
obvious visions of many canal groups and this
has been the focus of much restoration and
preservation effort. However, heritage can be
interpreted very broadly English Heritage
(now Historic England) defines heritage value
as “the worth or importance attached by
people to qualities of places, categorised as
aesthetic, evidential, communal or historical
value54.(p72) Kate Clark, deputy director of
heritage policy and engagement for the Welsh
government and former deputy director of
policy and research for the Heritage Lottery
Fund (now National Lottery Heritage Fund)
starts a discussion of values by stating55:
“Every time that we protect a site, allocate
public funding, or interfere with someone’s
ability to develop their own property, we are
making a judgement that something is of
value to a wider community.” (p1)
Much writing differentiates between intrinsic
value of heritage (its value for its own sake)
and its instrumental value (how it is important
for human benefit social, economic and
environmental benefits). Heritage institutions
themselves, however, can also have value56.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF)
and its previous incarnation the Heritage
Lottery Fund (HLF) has an interest in
demonstrating the importance of its work on
behalf of lottery players. It has carried out an
54 English Heritage (2008) Conservation Principles for the sustainable management of the historic
environment. Available at: https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/conservation-
principles-sustainable-management-historic-environment/
55 Clark, K (2010) Values in Cultural Resource Management. Draft of paper published in Smith, George S, Messenger,P.
and Soderland, H. (2010) Heritage Values in Contemporary Society, . Walnut Creek CA: Left Coast Press
56 Hewison, R and Holden, J (2004) Challenge and Change: HLF and Cultural Value. A report to the National Lottery
Heritage Fund https://www.hlf.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/research/challengeandchange_culturalvalue.pdf
57 National Lottery Heritage Fund Strategy and Business Development Department (2016) Values and benefits of
heritage: A research review. April 2016. Available at https://www.hlf.org.uk/values-and-benefits-heritage
58 Department for Communities and Local Government (2018) NPPF Annex 2: Glossary. Available at:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/74044
1/National_Planning_Policy_Framework_web_accessible_version.pdf
59 Dümcke, C and Gnedovsky, M (2013) The Social and Economic Value of Cultural Heritage: literature review. European
Expert Network on Culture (EENC) Paper, July 2013
annually updated ‘Values & Benefits of
Heritage’ review of research affecting the UK
heritage sector57 (though this has not been
updated since 2016, possibly due to changes in
structure and staff). They categorise heritage
‘places’ as:
Museums and galleries including
museums, art galleries, libraries and
archives
Historic environment including the built
environment, heritage sites, railways,
visitor centres and places of worship
Natural environment including parks,
gardens, wildlife attractions, coasts, canals
and green space
Being both built and natural in various ways,
inland waterways can be included in the latter
two categories; given how canals in particular
have shaped cities and landscapes they also
fall within the new National Planning Policy
Framework (NPPF) definition of heritage
which includes All aspects of the environment
resulting from the interaction between people
and places through time, including all
surviving physical remains of past human
activity, whether visible, buried or
submerged, and landscaped and planted or
managed flora.58. They can also be
consideredhistoric landscapes59 Waterways-
related museums, archives and historic boats
preserve the cultural heritage of the inland
waterways.
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An area critical to the National Lottery
Heritage Fund’s work is community and
cultural heritage, including capturing
traditions and culture of the past, or
preserving community values associated with
a location, custom or activity. Cultural
heritage is sometimes seen as an aspect of the
cultural and creative industries; being related
to traditions, stories and customs it is also
relevant to waterways and their industrial
roots. A European review of the benefits of
cultural heritage60 shows heritage institutions
and projects show potential for skills
development61, social and territorial cohesion,
and the generation of direct, indirect and
induced job creation62
Since 2002, English Heritage and Historic
England have produced annual ‘Heritage
Counts’ audits of the nation’s heritage on
behalf of the Historic Environment Forum
(HEF) which brings together chief executives
and policy officers from public and non-
government heritage bodies to co-ordinate
initiatives and strengthen advocacy work and
communications. The themes of each,
supported by commissioned research, reflect
the variety of values associated with heritage
and emerging agendas. It is therefore worth
summarising the series63 below:
60 Dümcke, C and Gnedovsky, M (2013) The Social and Economic Value of Cultural Heritage: literature review.
European Expert Network on Culture (EENC) Paper, July 2013
61 ECOTEC (2008) Economic Impact of the Historic Environment in Scotland, Birmingham.
http://www.heacs.org.uk/documents/2009/ecotec.pdf and
Ecorys (2012): The Economic Impact of Maintaining and Repairing Historic Buildings in England, London. Available at
http://www.hlf.org.uk/aboutus/howwework/Documents/Historic_Buildings_Study_Ecorys_2012.pdf
62 Countryside and Community Research Unit (CCRU) and ADAS (2007): A study of the social and economic impacts and
benefits of traditional farm building and drystone wall repairs in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. London: English
Heritage http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/content/publications/publicationsNew/study-social-economicimpact-
benefits-trad-farm-building-drystone-repairs-yorks-dales/YorkshireDale-Study.pdf
63 All Heritage Counts reports along with associated background research documents and regional reports can be
accessed at: https://historicengland.org.uk/research/heritage-counts/
64 Heritage Counts 2009 summary and background research reports available at:
https://historicengland.org.uk/research/heritage-counts/2009-sense-of-place/
65 Heritage Counts 2010 summary and background research reports available at:
https://historicengland.org.uk/research/heritage-counts/2010-economic-impact/
Heritage Counts Report Topics
2009: Sense of Place64. Research carried
out by CURDS identified that other socio-
economic factors being equal - interest or
participation in the local historic
environment is positively related to people’s
sense of place and can help build and
strengthen community relationships. There
is a major opportunity to build on this and
other evidence about the attachment people
feel to their local communities and historic
roots
2010: Economic Impact65. Two research
projects were commissioned for the report,
one on the economic impact of regeneration
and the other on the economic impact of
heritage attractions. They identified a high
level of local job-
creation from heritage
attractions and increased economic
resilience from investing in the historic
environment pla
ces through attracting
visitors, shoppers and businesses all
attracted by the historic environment. £1 of
investment in the historic environment was
calculated to generate £1.6 of additional
economic activity over a ten year period.
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Heritage Counts Report Topics
2011: Big Society66. A
collection of
primary research and case studies showed
how the historic environment fosters a
vision for an area and helps shape
communities, provides the context or means
by which local people can take an active role
in their local area - turning a place into a
community. Involvement has potential to
improve people's confidence and skills. The
research highlighted the importance of non-
state organisations in maintaining and
promoting the historic environment.
2008 Climate Change and 2012:
Resilience67. The
se two years explored
how the heritage sector can adapt to
changes
2013: Skills68. While much of this report
focused on how to address skills shortages,
it also highlighted the role of heritage assets
in developing and preserving traditional
skills.
2014 -
The Value and Impact of
Heritage. Focused on ways of measuring
value and impact of heritage on many
factors including growth, the economy, our
wellbeing and sense of place.
2015 Caring for
the Local Historic
Environment
built on this to advise
owners how the
y can best manage their
assets.
66 Heritage Counts 2011 summary and background research reports available at:
https://historicengland.org.uk/research/heritage-counts/2011-big-society/
67 Heritage Counts 2008 and 2012 summary and background research reports available at
https://historicengland.org.uk/research/heritage-counts/
68 Heritage Counts 2013 summary and background research reports available at:
at:https://historicengland.org.uk/research/heritage-counts/2013-skills-in-the-historic-environment/ - including a
case study on historic ships
69 MORI for English Heritage, Public Attitudes Towards Tall Buildings in Cities (2001). Accessed from the IPSOS-MORI
website, 6 March 2015, https://www.ipsosmori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/1283/Tall-Buildings-
Public-Have-Their-Say-For-FirstTime.aspx . 7 Ipsos-RSL (2003). Cited in HLF (2016) Values and benefits of heritage: a
research review by HLF Strategy & Business Development Department. April 2016. Available
https://www.hlf.org.uk/values-and-benefits-heritage
70 Oxford Economics (2016) The impact of heritage tourism for the UK economy. Produced for HLF. Accessed at
https://www.hlf.org.uk/economic-impact-uk-heritage-tourism-economy
71 Heritage Counts 2016 summary and background research reports available at:
https://historicengland.org.uk/research/heritage-counts/2016-heritage-and-place-branding/
Heritage Counts Report Topics
201
6 Heritage and Place Branding.
Research underpinning this report
identified the value of heritage as a source of
identity; a source of character and
distinctiveness; and as an important driver
of competitiveness and place.
2017 50 Years of Conservation Areas.
Focused on the benefits (and challenges) of
conservation areas.
2
018 Heritage in Commercial Use.
This latest report highlights case studies of
how historic buildings can be successfully
reused for commercial purposes,
particularly for creative industries.
The Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Benefits of
Heritage’ 2016 review categorises the social
effects stemming from engagement with
heritage as for both individuals and
communities. They provide evidence from
numerous MORI surveys69 to show that the
majority of people in the UK believe that
heritage (both built and natural) is important
to preserve and is ‘good’ in some way,
contributing to how people feel about the
places they live, and their quality of life.
Economically, heritage tourism contributed
£20.2bn to the UK economy in 2016, just over
1% of GDP and of jobs70. Heritage is also core
to ‘place branding’, or creation of identity for
destinations71.
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Many of the studies reviewed by the HLF on
the benefits to individuals of heritage relate to
museums and galleries, with benefits
including positive emotions, life satisfaction,
sense of purpose and identity, social capital
and relationships with others72; other studies
into the wider historic environment
undertaken by English Heritage and
DCMS73,74 supported these findings.
Shared engagement in projects, and
volunteering activity in particular, has also
been shown through a 3 year HLF research
project to support skills development, self-
worth and general well-being. Benefits were
most noticeable among younger volunteers
(for whom volunteering can be a step into the
labour market) and socioeconomically/
educationally underrepresented groups.
Comparison of HLF and Oxfam volunteers
showed that the benefits are not specifically
heritage-related, but the large number of
volunteers within the heritage sector (over
700,000 individuals undertook heritage-
related voluntary work in 2015/6) make
heritage-related volunteering a significant
activity nationwide.75 76 Volunteering provides
skills; with the renewed focus on government-
funded apprenticeships all the main
organisations are recruiting apprentices in
areas as diverse as geospatial surveying,
building conservation or heritage venues
72 Aked, J, Marks, N, Cordon, C, and Thompson, S. (2008) Five Ways to Wellbeing. New Economics Foundation and
Wood, C. (2007) Museums of the Mind: Mental Health, Emotional Well-being and Museums. Culture Unlimited. Bude:
Culture Unlimited.
73 Heritage Counts 2017: Heritage and Society. Summary report available at
https://historicengland.org.uk/research/heritage-counts/2017-conservation-areas/heritage-and-society/
74 Fujiwara, D. (2014) An Assessment of the Impact of Heritage on Subjective Wellbeing: Interim econometric results
75 Dept for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (2016) Taking Part Survey: England Adult Report, 2015/16 Analysis tables.
Accessed at https://public.tableau.com/profile/taking.part.survey#!/vizhome/WhoParticipates-
HeritageMuseumsandGalleriesLibrariesArchives/Responsesbreakdowns . Population calculated using ONS 2015 adult
population estimates. https://beta.ons.gov.uk/filter-outputs/15686f11-321e-499d-a7c6-1292a45831a4
76 BOP Consulting for HLF (2011), Assessment of the social impact of volunteering in HLF-funded projects: Year 3.
77 Historic England (2018) Heritage Apprenticeships. https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/training-skills/work-
based-training/heritage-apprenticeships/
78 Department for Culture, Media & Sport (2016. Culture White Paper
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/510798/DCMS_
The_Culture_White_Paper__3_.pdf
79 Pendlebury, J & Porfyriou, H. (2017) Heritage, urban regeneration and place-making, Journal of Urban Design, 22:4,
429-432, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13574809.2017.1326712?needAccess=true
80 BOP for Museums, Libraries and Archives (2005) New Directions in Social Policy: developing the evidence base for
museums, libraries and archives in England. (London: MLA).
operations. Historic England are
commissioning research into skills gaps and
are active in developing new apprenticeship
routes.77 Interestingly, these apprenticeships
are being developed to meet requirements in
the 2016 Culture White Paper78
In his editorial introducing a special journal
issue on heritage and regeneration, John
Pendlebury identifies that one of the most
frequent overt uses of heritage that has
developed over recent decades is its use as a
catalyst in urban regeneration79. The
distinctive built heritage of many inland
waterways and the reuse of former industrial
buildings with social as well as architectural
significance, has been core to many
restoration and regeneration proposals.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund, as the
main source of waterway restoration funding
over the past two decade, has, as a priority,
required that communities benefit from
heritage improvements. However, it is harder
to measure how communities benefit from
heritage than individuals80; while social
capital is often an aim of projects, causal
relationships showing social cohesion arising
from heritage projects have proved hard to
evidence and much research discusses the
challenges in ‘measuring’ the social value of
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heritage81. The largely qualitative - evidence
does however suggest that projects targeted at
improving the historic and natural
environments lead to a stronger sense of place
and local pride among local people. Research
carried out for Historic England in 2011 used
case studies to demonstrate how the historic
environment can foster a vision for an area
and help shape communities, providing the
context or means by which local people can
take an active role in their local area - turning
a place into a community.
Interestingly, heritage-related volunteering
activities tend to create ‘interest communities
through shared interests which are not
geographically related82. Canal restoration or
railway societies are good examples here, even
though activities can be based in one area.
Historic England have also identified that
community-based interest groups often
generate rich historical research which could
be useful to inform wider strategy and
research programmes in the heritage sector if
they were more widely shared83
Figure 2, taken from the Heritage Counts
report addressing how heritage can be valued,
provides a useful summary of the areas
discussed.
81 For example: Siân Jones (2017) Wrestling with the Social Value of Heritage: Problems, Dilemmas and Opportunities,
Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage, 4:1, 21-37, DOI: 10.1080/20518196.2016.1193996; Clark, Kate (2010)
Values in Cultural Resource Management. Draft of paper published in Smith, George S, Messenger,P. and Soderland,
H. (2010) Heritage Values in Contemporary Society, . Walnut Creek CA: Left Coast Pres
82 BOP Consulting for HLF (2011), Assessment of the social impact of volunteering in HLF-funded projects: Year 3.
83 Hedge, R, & Nash, A, (2016) Assessing the Value of Community-generated Historic Environment Research.
Commissioned for Historic England. Accessed at
http://research.historicengland.org.uk/Report.aspx?i=15842&ru=%2fResults.aspx%3fp%3d1%26n%3d10%26t%3dvalu
e%26ns%3d1
84 Dümcke, C and Gnedovsky, M (2013) The Social and Economic Value of Cultural Heritage: literature review.
European Expert Network on Culture (EENC) Paper, July 2013
Figure 2: The Value & Impact of Heritage and the
Historic Environment. Taken from
https://content.historicengland.org.uk/content/herita
ge-counts/pub/2190644/value-impact-chapter.pdf
4.2 MEASURING THE VALUE OF
HERITAGE
Valuing heritage shows tension between
utilitarian, economic ‘what does it do and
what is it worth’ approaches, and cultural,
humanistic ‘what does it mean to who?’
approaches, though a 2013 literature review of
the social and economic value of cultural
heritage across Europe84 shows these schools
are starting to come together and the social
impacts of heritage are starting to be better
studied.
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Historic England produce an indicator dataset
each year85 presented according to the five
strategic priorities of Heritage 2020:
Discovery, identification & understanding
Provides indicators on the scale and
scope of the historic environment and
assets;
Constructive conservation and sustainable
management Includes indicators on the
overall condition of the historic
environment with indicators from the
Heritage at Risk programme and data on
managing the historic environment,
including planning statistics;
Public engagement Presents data on
participation in heritage, heritage
membership and volunteering in the
sector;
Capacity building Includes indicators of
heritage investments from private, public
and voluntary sectors as well as the skills
and capacity of the sector;
Helping things to happen Provides data
from Building Preservation Trusts and the
local authority Heritage Champions
initiative.
Academics, funders and decision-making
bodies have produced a plethora of guidance
on how to measure the value of heritage 86 - the
2014 Heritage Counts report focuses on
85 Historic England (2017) Heritage Counts 2017: Heritage Indicators. Summary reports and links to data files accessed
at https://historicengland.org.uk/research/heritage-counts/2017-conservation-areas/indicator-data/
86 Heritage Counts 2014 summary and background research reports available at:
at:https://historicengland.org.uk/research/heritage-counts/2014-the-value-and-impact-of-heritage/ - including a
case study on volunteer lock keepers https://content.historicengland.org.uk/content/heritage-
counts/pub/2190644/case-study-volunteer-lock-keepers-crt.pdf and CRT’s Skills for the Future project
https://content.historicengland.org.uk/content/heritage-counts/pub/2190644/case-study-skills-for-the-future-
crt.pdf
87 Studies used by HLF included: Economics for the Environment Consultancy for Resource (eftec), Economic Valuation
of Heritage (English Heritage, 2014); eftec, Valuing Our Recorded Heritage. (1999); Spectrum Consulting for the
British Library, Measuring Our Value. (2004); Jura Consultants for Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council and
Museums, Libraries and Archives North West, Bolton’s Museum, Library and Archive Services: an Economic
Valuation. (2005); Watson, R. and Albon, S., 2011. UK National Ecosystem Assessment: Understanding nature’s
value to society. Synthesis of the Key Findings; eftec, 2005. Valuation of the Historic Environment: The scope for
using results of valuation studies in the appraisal and assessment of heritage-related projects and programmes.
Report by the Economics for the Environment Consultancy for National Lottery Heritage Fund, English Heritage,
Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Department of Transport; eftec, 2006. Valuing Our Natural
Environment. Report by the Economics for the Environment Consultancy Ltd for Department for Environment, Food
and Rural Affairs. London: Defra.
88 Hometrack, Influence on national house prices. Cited in English Heritage, Heritage Counts 2003: The State of the
Historic Environment. (London: English Heritage, 2003).
89 Watson, R. and Albon, S., (2011) UK National Ecosystem Assessment: Understanding nature’s value to society.
Synthesis of the Key Findings in HLF, 2016
approaches, including some waterways case
studies such as volunteer lockkeepers and
Canal & River Trust’s Skills for the Future
project.
MONETARY VALUE
Heritage assets are ‘non-market’ goods,
meaning they are not traded. However, money
remains a well-understood unit of
measurement so is frequently used as a proxy
for intangible things. Environmental
economic approaches to capturing the value of
heritage assets or activities include
‘willingness to pay’ or ‘stated
preference’. National Lottery Heritage
Fund’s review, drawing on case studies of
specific sites87 shows that even where people
do not use a heritage facility, they express a
willingness to pay to maintain it, and what
they are willing to pay often exceeds the cost of
the service itself.
Housing prices also indicate the value
people place on built and natural heritage;
‘historic’ homes fetch higher prices88 and the
2011 National Ecosystem Assessment
demonstrated that this extended to homes in
the vicinity of certain historic and
environmental features89. These features
include waterways as shown in studies over
several decades (though there is no reliable
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‘formula’ for the addition of water due to other
factors involved) 90,91
The British Property Federation in association
with Historic England, the Royal Institution of
Chartered Surveyors, and Deloitte Real Estate,
has produced guidance92 for those involved in
heritage-related development to highlight how
heritage can add value when used well. This
drew on research and case studies to
demonstrate contribution93 94 including
earlier design guidance by BW and English
Heritage promoting quality waterside
development95. Critical to success of
regeneration, conclude the BPF, is “finding a
viable economic use that can support initial
refurbishment, provide the owner or
developer with a reasonable return on their
investment and which generates sufficient
income to ensure the long-term maintenance
of the building fabric and any associated
public open spaces”.
Charities have long used volunteer time
and numbers as a measure of value; for
example the HLF assigns monetary value to
each hour of volunteer time, often
distinguishing between skilled professional
and lesser-skilled labour rates. An ongoing
DCMS ‘Taking Part’ survey96 shows that in
2016/17, 32.9% of UK adults had done
voluntary work at least once in the previous 12
months, with 5% volunteering in the heritage
sector. While this may not cover all aspects of
90 Garrod, G and K. Willis, K (1994) An Economic Estimate of the Effect of a Waterside Location on Property Value.
Environmental and Resource Economics, 4, p. 209-217. 27)
91 Ecotec (2007) Waterways in Wales: Economic Costs and Benefits of the Welsh Canal Network Report to British
Waterways
92 British Property Federation (2017) Heritage Works. A Toolkit of Best Practice in Heritage Regeneration. April 2017.
https://www.bpf.org.uk/sites/default/files/resources/Heritage-Works-14July2017-for-web.pdf
93 English Heritage and Colliers International (2011) , Encouraging Investment in Heritage at Risk, An assessment
carried out for English Heritage of industrial buildings at risk. October 2011
94 National Lottery Heritage Fund, (2013) ‘New Ideas Need Old Buildings’, Research and case studies covering the
contribution of historic buildings and areas to economic growth.
95 British Waterways and English Heritage (2009) England’s Historic Waterways: A working heritage Promoting high
quality waterside development https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/original/24169-promoting-high-quality-
waterside-design.pdf
96 Dept for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (2017) Taking Part Survey: England Adult Report, 2016/17. Accessed at
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/664933/Adult_s
tats_release_4.pdf
97 Canal & River Trust (2017) Annual Report 2016/17 Accessed at: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/original/33176-
annual-report-2016-17.pdf
98 Jones, S. (2016) Wrestling with the Social Value of Heritage: Problems, Dilemmas and Opportunities, Journal of
Community Archaeology & Heritage, 4:1, 21-37, DOI: 10.1080/20518196.2016.1193996
‘heritage’ above it still represents significant
numbers of people. The Canal & River Trust
alone registered over half a million volunteer
hours in its 2016/17 accounts97
By contrast, in 2016/17, 86.7% of adults had
donated money to charity in the previous 12
months, with heritage accounting for 14%.
Monetary donations are a way of
measuring the perceived value of an asset or
an organisation’s activity.
SOCIAL VALUE
Professor Sian Jones, a leading writer on the
social values of heritage, highlights the
‘fluidity’ of social value. Traditionally, she
notes, conservation and management of the
historic environment has been based on
archaeological, architectural and scientific
expertise. However social value demands new
forms of expertise and methodologies that
directly engage with contemporary
communities using qualitative methods and
techniques, for instance focus groups,
qualitative interviews and participant
observation, to reveal the meanings and
attachments that underpin aspects of social
value.98 For example, BOP Consulting carried
out ana