ABC Leisure Group Ltd

Learn all about ABC Leisure Group

About Us 2017-08-28T12:30:50+00:00

ABC Leisure Group Limited has been building and operating a hire fleet and providing full marina services to canal users for over 45 years, with a thorough experience of everything to do with narrowboats and boating holidays.

We are unique in that we own and operate 10 strategically placed marinas and a boat building operation which means we can, if required, personally provide almost all the services needed for the operation of a canal boat during its entire life.

Company History

Our Mission

Our Team

Our Brands

Environment

Charity Events & Press

Company History

ABC Leisure Group Limited was formerly known as Alvechurch Boat Centres Ltd and has been building and operating a hire fleet and providing full marina services to canal users for over 45 years.

Alvechurch Boat Centres was acquired by the current owners in 1993 when it had just three locations Alvechurch, Gayton and Anderton. Since then we have grown from the original 3 bases to 16 locations for hiring canal boats which provides access to most of the canal network in England, Scotland and Wales.

We acquired Wrenbury Mill in 1997, opened the Weighbridge Pub at Alvechurch Marina in 2001 and started operating boat hire from Falkirk in 2004. In the same year we acquired Wessex Narrowboats at Hilperton Marina Wiltshire.

In 2005, Viking Afloat with its four locations at Worcester, Whitchurch, Rugby and Gailey became part of our operation. In 2006 we acquired Red Line Boats at Goytre Wharf in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

2009 sees another hire location at Union Wharf Market Harborough, and in 2010 Reading Marine at Aldermaston Wharf.

We have continued to operate the hire fleets from 16 start locations under their original brands to ensure they maintain their individual uniqueness and culture. For our customers convenience, information about all the hire boats and locations are contained all in one place within our ABC Boat Hire brochure.

In recent years we have also added three properties to our holiday hire offerings based at Goytre, Blackwater and Wrenbury. Visit abcholidaycottages.co.uk for more information.

ABC Leisure Group owns and operates 10 marinas and boatyards throughout the UK Inland Waterway system providing services for both our own hire fleets, passing boaters and privately owned boats. Most of our locations have either dry docks or cranes and a gas safe engineer so there is no job too large or small. In addition to a range of chandlery and boat parts at all these locations, we have a large well stocked chandlers at Hilperton Marina and an online chandlery. ABC Web Chandler can supply a variety of parts and accessories for boaters and boating direct to your door. We also have a brokerage or boat sales operation selling second-hand boats.

We have a boatbuilding operation based at Alvechurch that build high quality bespoke narrow boats from the steel hull to the final finish. In addition to this, there is “The Weighbridge” which is an award winning public house at Alvechurch Marina and the highly regarded “Moorings” licensed a la carte restaurant at Anderton Marina.

With our diverse portfolio of canal related business it was decided in 2007 to rename the parent company ABC Leisure Group under which all the brands and activities would operate.

In 2008 ABC Boat Management was launched to look after and be the main point of contact for around 100 boats that we manage or operate on behalf of other individuals and companies. ABC Boat Management uses its economies of scale to acquire most of the services required from ABC Leisure Group marinas at a discounted rates making it a very cost effective management option.

ABC Leisure group can do almost everything for canal boats and is committed to continue growing what it can offer the Inland Waterways boater.

Our Mission

Helping our customers escape to a slower pace of life on or near our inland waterways.

Meet the head office team

edEdward 

carlCarl

alanAlan

kevinKevin

stepheStephe

haleyHaley

Sean

dawnDawn

lizLiz

mandyMandy


Sally

lucyLucy

Jessica

samSam

lindsLindsey

Dave

Do you want to join our team? Click here to check for vacancies.

Our Brands

Please click on the logos below for more information

Sustaining The Environment

Not only are ABC Boat Hire holidays one of the most relaxing and rewarding holidays around, they are also one of the ‘greenest’.
Starting the moment customers board their floating home, a holiday cruising through some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery, working the locks or sitting back with a glass of wine won’t ‘cost’ the earth.

In fact an ABC Boat Hire holiday is estimated to be some 20* times better for the planet than spending two hours flying for a holiday overseas. We offer our customers the opportunity to offset the environmental impact of their holiday by donating to The Canal and River Trust Green Fund

The Canal and River Trust is a registered charity which cares for 2000 miles of waterways in England and Wales. We suggest £5.00 per holiday which our customers can indicate on their booking form and all of which goes directly to “The Canal and River Trust Green Fund

In addition if customers select Gift Aid when making their donation it will be worth even more. For every pound given to the Waterways Trust they receive an extra 28 pence from the Inland Revenue.

Following the launch of our greener holidays campaign in 2008 we are pleased to report on some of the projects which have benefited from donations from customers and ourselves to “The Waterways Trust Green Fund”.

A new section of traffic-free walking and cycling path has been constructed by Powys Council and Sustrans between Newtown, Llanllwchaiarn and Aberbechan on the Montgomery Canal. The 1.5km trail, which received a grant from the Green Fund, is part of the Montgomery Canal Walking and Cycling Project and forms part of Route 81 of the National Cycle Network.

The new stretch allows people to travel more easily and safely between local communities. It also allows better access to the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust’s Pwll Penarth wetland nature reserve by bike or on foot.

The new Hanbury Lock Towpath will extend an existing route on the Birmingham & Worcester Canal, from Hanbury Wharf into Droitwich encouraging even more people to make use of the restored canals and visit the town.

Funding has also contributed towards the opening of the Action Outdoors Centre, Falkirk. A brand new outdoor activity centre on the bank of the Union Canal, giving young people in the region the opportunity to get out and get active. The centre offers a wide range of activities both on the canal and in the surrounding area.

Donate to the Canal & River Trust.

Help protect and care for our unique canals and rivers

Click here to donate to CRT

A narrowboat holiday on the UK canals and rivers is the perfect way to explore the beautiful countryside of England, Wales & Scotland. Enjoyment of the holiday depends upon the sustainability of the canals, the towpaths and the countryside itself.

At ABC Leisure Group we are proud to actively work to reduce our impact on the environment. We consider all aspects of our operations and are constantly reviewing our activities and trying to minimize our environmental impact throughout the organisation. Although a narrowboat holiday is a very low carbon holiday we try to ensure we improve this and our general marina activities even further.

We make a donation to the Waterways Trust Green Fund to offset the small amount of carbon created by every holiday we provide. We also provide our customers with the option of making a donation to offset the carbon from their travel to and from the holiday start location.

All our holiday brochures, documents and information are available on the ABC Boat Hire website electronically. The information booklets that are sent out with holiday confirmation are recycled (hirers are invited to return the booklets to the marinas at the end of the holiday for recycling).

Our hire boats are fitted with long life oil filters requiring only one oil change each year, reducing waste petrochemical and filter quantities. We use efficient modern diesel engines and encourage hirers to drive the boat responsibly by charging them directly for the actual fuel they use.

A plentiful supply of hot water is supplied to sinks and showers which is produced as a by-product from the cooling system of the engine. Boats are all provided with Ecover washing up liquid and our cleaners use a Diversy Leaver cleaning system. These reduce packaging waste and are completely and immediately biodegradable which has minimum effect on aquatic life and the surrounding environment.

We endeavour to recycle as much of our waste as is practically possible and constantly look for ways of improving our impact on the environment. Waste from our sites is either pre treated or sorted by the disposing companies.

Our boat building operations use as many materials as possible from recycled and sustainable sources and we try to fit low energy equipment where possible. We are able to build Eco hulls which limit wash that erodes banks and increases fuel efficiency.

Latest Charity Events We’ve Been Involved With

Macmillan Cancer Support

The Booking Team at Worcester raised funds for Macmillan coffee and cake morning (funds also matched by ABC).

Snowdonia Challenge

Staff at our Alvechurch Head Office took part to support men & women paralysed in sporting accidents

Barnton Wanderers FC

Funds given for new football kit for local children’s football team

Donation to Bloodwise

Staff at Goytre wharf organised the donation of a day boat hire prize

Batchley First School

We donated a day boat hire day from Alvechurch

Donation to Worcester Food Bank

Staff at Worcester Head Office made food donations to the food bank.

Rubery Social Bowling Green

ABC made a donation to improve the grounds.

Activities for C-R-Y

Staff at Gayton took part in the sponsored bike ride from London to Paris.

View all of the events we’ve been involved with

Recent Press / News Cuttings

January 2017

Canal & River Trust

Meet Edward – An article about our Managing Director.

View

October 2016

Canal Boating Times

Turnaround Day – An article in Canal Boating Times.

View

September 2016

Waterways World

Revisiting old haunts – An article with a Redline Boat.

View

August 2016

Yorkshire Evening Post

Article by Neil Hudson on an ABC boat.

View

2016

Barging Round Britain

ABC’s boat featured in the programme.

View

October 2014

Waterways World

3 Women cruise Llangollen in an ABC boat.

View

A Selection Of Archived Press / News Cuttings

April 2010

Inand Waterways

ABC Leisure Group Expansion.

View

October 2009

Waterways World

Published tribute to Anderton’s receptionist.

View

October 2009

Waterways World Review

Review in WW magazine.

View

December 2008

Waterways World Interview

Expansion of ABC Leisure Group.

View

November 2008

Rushes

Green award for UK Boat Hire (Now ABC).

View

November 2007

Worcester News

Coal delivery by water.

View

October 2007

Waterways Trust

Green Light for fund.

View

May 2007

Worcester Evening News

Cleaning up the canals around Worcester.

View

All press queries  – Contact Haley Hadley, Marketing Director on 0330 333 0595 or +44 1905610660 for overseas. 

Everything Canal Boats is a trading name of ABC Leisure Group Ltd
Registered Office:
Scarfield Wharf, Alvechurch,Worcestershire B48 7SQ

Registered in England No 2860394 | VAT Registration No 641002792