The Government is considering a multibillion-pound sale of the country’s canals and waterways. The Times

British Waterways, the body responsible for 2,200 miles of UK canals and rivers, is conducting a 'beauty parade' of banks. This will be followed in the summer by a strategic review of all options for the business, including a sale of all or parts of the portfolio, a possible stock market listing or other partnership or funding structures.

A sale could raise as much as £1bn for the Treasury.

British Waterways portfolio includes all the towpaths and land alongside the canals. and was last valued at more than £500m, but that figure could more than double over the coming years as it shares the spoils of housing and office regeneration schemes.