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Basingstoke Canal

The Basingstoke Canal Authority

The Basingstoke Canal is jointly owned by Surrey and Hampshire County Councils. The Basingstoke Canal Authority (BCA), was set up in 1992 to manage the Basingstoke Canal as a managing agent on behalf of the two County Councils. The BCA has no legal or corporate identity itself and the staff of the BCA are employed by Hampshire County Council and work to their financial, health and safety and governance policies.

The Canal Partnership comprises the two County Councils and six local Borough and District Councils (Hart, Rushmoor, Guildford, Surrey Heath, Woking and Runnymede) who provide revenue funding and supervisory management for the BCA through the Basingstoke Canal Joint Management Committee. Hart District is in turn supported by a number of local Parishes who also contribute revenue funding to help maintain the Canal. Fleet Town Council has recently been accepted as a full member of the Canal Partnership.

The Canal Partnership currently has adopted the following plans and policies to guide the day to day management of the Canal by the BCA:

  • Canal Bylaws – local laws for the safe operation of the Canal

  • Memo of Agreement – this covers the agreement to manage the Canal between the Canal Partners

  • Canal Strategy – setting out the strategy for the next 5 years and how other plans and strategies interact.

  • Conservation Management Plan – sets out policies and programmes to manage the Canal from a conservation perspective and in particular how to reverse decline in condition of the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This plan has also been formally agreed with Natural England the national supervisor body for conservation.

  • Asset Management Plan – Sets out policies and programmes for the long term repair and maintenance of the Canal structure and main physical assets in a steady state.

An Operations Plan to replace the former Service Plan 2010-15 setting out the management and operational objectives and medium term targets is being drafted in conjunction with a review of the Asset Management Plan. This Plan refers to a number of other operational documents such as the Emergency Response Plan and Infrastructure Statement which sets out detailed operational procedures for certain situations.

A Business Plan covering how the Canal might be developed to have a more sustainable financial future is also being developed, and will lead to a Recreation Management Plan.



The vision for the Basingstoke Canal is to create a thriving natural environment for wildlife and public enjoyment and a vibrant recreation and heritage resource. Central to the vision is to create an accessible waterway serving the public. The Vision seeks to unlock the potential economic contribution of the Canal and it’s corridor and also to become a focal point for increased community and volunteer involvement and use. The ambition is to become a well loved, distinctive and well known destination for an extended market including day visitors and tourists attracted to discover and enjoy its peaceful setting and unique character.

Canal Authority documents