CRT appoints Julie Sharman as Head of Asset Management and Performance.

NABO welcomes the appointment of Julie Sharman as CRT’s Head of Asset Management & Performance.  Julie, a Professional, Chartered Civil Engineer, is well known to many boaters for her outstanding work and deep understanding of the canals and their infrastructure.

Her role involves making sure the Trust’s 200-year old bridges, tunnels, locks and aqueducts are kept in the best condition possible.  Julie, who is currently head of enterprise at the Trust, will take over from George Ballinger on 1 April. 

Julie will be in charge of a team that is responsible for prioritising the repairs carried out across the canal network each year – targeting the money available to the structures most in need of refurbishment.  She will also be in charge of the environment, heritage and water teams.  The Trust needs to meet environmental standards for the canals and rivers in its care and the work it carries out, and is the third largest owner of listed structures in the UK, that  require special processes and attention.  As guardian of 2,000 miles worth of waterway and 73 reservoirs, the Trust needs to ensure that the water supply is managed effectively.

Julie has a background as an operational manager and is a Chartered Civil Engineer.  Her career started at the Channel Tunnel and the Jubilee Line Extension major construction projects.  She joined the waterways in 1996 and spent 14 years working in engineering, waterway and general management across Cheshire and Wales.  In 2010 Julie moved into partnerships and funding, and in her existing role as head of enterprise heads up the Trust’s team that secures funding for waterways projects from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Local Authorities, the Government, Landfill Tax and the Arts Council.

Julie said:  “I am passionate about the future of our waterways and excited about taking on this role that is central to protecting the fabric of the network.  I’m looking forward to getting back to my engineering roots, and making sure our historic structures can continue to be safely used day in, day out by boaters and others on the towpath.  We have a fantastic team of experts who really understand our waterways but we are always looking for volunteers, so if any boaters happen to have the expertise and desire to want to work alongside us I would be very interested in talking to them.”

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Trust:  “The structures on our waterways – the locks, bridges, tunnels and more – are used every day by thousands of boaters, and the state they’re in has a massive impact on boaters’ enjoyment.  The need to keep them safe and in workable condition is paramount, and it was really important to find an excellent leader for this role.  I’m delighted to appoint Julie, who has a wealth of experience across engineering and project management, and who has been extremely successful securing funds for the Trust in her current role as head of enterprise.  I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank George for the high standards he’s maintained and wish him the best for his retirement.”

Enterprise manager south Richard Rutter will act as head of enterprise while recruitment for the role goes ahead.  Julie will be completing a short handover period with George Ballinger, the current head of asset management, before he retires.

Fran Read, national press officer, Canal & River Trust

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