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Canal & River Trust

The Canal & River Trust came into being on 2nd July 2012 and was the biggest ever single transfer of state infrastructure into a charitable body. They have long been established as the leader in managing and restoring 2,000 miles of historic canals, rivers, reservoirs and docks across England and Wales. The canal and river network flows from London to Lancaster and Wales to the Wash connecting most of the country’s major towns and cities. In 2015/2016 they encouraged over 380 million visits to the waterway systems of the UK, and with HRH The Prince of Wales as their Patron they are successful in encouraging more people than ever to take an active role in looking after their local canal and river system. Having the responsibility for 1,583 locks, 55 tunnels, 2980 bridges, 336 aqueducts and 73 reservoirs is no easy task and Canal & River Trust work hard to ensure our canal and river heritage is maintained for many years to come.

To build upon such a key responsibility the North West team at Canal & River Trust, in collaboration with Welcome to Excellence were one of the first organisations in the UK to undertake the new VisitEngland accredited ‘Exceeding Visitor Expectations’ customer service training course. The course, which focuses on assisting organisations and individuals to enhance the visitor experience of attractions and key destinations across the country develops a variety of realistic practical skills to improve frontline customer service. A total of 73 Canal & River Trust employees from across the North West region took part in the one-day training programme helping them to enhance the experience of visitors to their local waterways and build the reputation of boating activities of what is becoming one of the most popular leisure holidays in recent years. In addition to successfully achieving Welcome to Excellence and VisitEngland certification all participants completed the City and Guilds additional assessment thus earning a nationally recognised qualification in the process.

Andrea Barrett, Customer Support Cordinator at Canal & River Trust said: “With more visitors to our waterways the training provided by Welcome to Excellence has been fantastic and will help us to enhance the experience of visitors to our waterways across the North West.”

John Barlow, Welcome to Excellence Franchise Partner said: “It was a pleasure to deliver the ‘Exceeding Visitor Expectations’ programmes for Canal & River Trust. The courses were specifically tailored to incorporate key elements of service excellence across the organisation and to allow teams to appreciate the importance of a world-class visitor experience and become a recognised Canal & River Trust brand ambassador”

As part of their continued success Canal & River Trust have recently been awarded Corporate Status with Welcome to Excellence, this further demonstrates their commitment to service excellence for their customers and visitors to the North West region.

In 2015/16 Canal & River Trust were helped by volunteers who gave 482,000 hours of their time, 150 communities helped to look after their local canal having ‘adopted’ it, 16,000 friends of Canal & River Trust gave a regular monthly donation to help continue the good work being carried out..and of course..the many thousands of boaters and holiday makers who bring the waterways to life are helping to keep the waterways as a main visitor attraction. It is hoped that with continued excellence in customer service and the newly qualified ambassadors across the North West this network will continue to grow ensuring even greater success.

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