The government has confirmed that it is considering a sale of the non-operational property portfolio owned by British Waterways, the authority that manages the UK’s canals.

British Waterways manages around 2,200 miles of canals and put the value of its entire property portfolio at £544m at its 2007 valuation.

Parlimentary under secretary for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies, said: ‘The Treasury Operational Efficiency Programme Review will consider the scope for improved asset management across government. The project will include a review of the British Waterways non-operational property portfolio, and business model, to consider how its assets might best deliver public value.’

Irranca-Davies was responding to a question from Tony Baldry, MP for Banbury.

The plans to sell were first mooted in the pre-budget report on 24th November.

British Waterways is already looking to sell around £50m of its residential property (Property Week, 30.05.08).