The Canal & River Trust is announcing a number of changes to its executive team. The charity is seeking to simplify how it works as it aims to ensure a secure, sustainable and positive future for the waterways.

Boating will now be the responsibility of Julie Sharman, who takes on the role of Chief Operating Officer and will be accountable for all day-to-day operations, performance and service delivery, and for local engagement through the Trust’s waterway teams. Julie has a wealth of experience as a chartered civil engineer and, in a past role as waterway manager, has been focused on customer service. She had been director of asset management since 2016.

There have been some changes to responsibilities across the executive team. Stuart Mills takes on a wider role as Chief Investment Officer, responsible for the Trust’s main income streams including charitable fundraising. Museums will also come under Stuart’s responsibility.

Heather Clarke becomes Strategy, Impact and Engagement Director, with responsibility for brand, marketing and public affairs, in addition to her current responsibilities for strategy and planning.

Simon Bamford becomes Asset Improvement Director, responsible for delivering the Trust’s long-term asset programmes – both through the Trust’s Direct Services teams and its contractors.

Mike Gooddie becomes People Director and Sandra Kelly remains as Finance Director, with no change to the scope of their roles.

Ian Rogers, who has been overseeing boating, will be leaving after succeeding in bringing a greater customer focus to the Trust in his three years with the charity. The Trust thanks him and wishes him the best for the future.

Richard Parry, Chief Executive at the Trust, said: “In the first five years of the Trust we have made great progress and have much to be proud of, thanks to the work of our people and to the excellent support we’ve had from our partners, and all those who value and care for our great inland waterways. As we look ahead, we need also to acknowledge that there is much more to do, with an exciting opportunity to expand on our progress to date, and a critical need to address the significant risks that we still face. Our predecessors were bold in their vision of turning a public agency into a new Trust and we must fulfil the promise that our independence as a charity affords us – and ensure our future is secure and sustainable.”