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£24,500 Transformation Grant awarded to Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust

Milton Keynes Community Foundation are proud to have awarded Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust with a Transformation Grant of £24,500 to enhance their volunteer-run public cruise service that they offer.

The cruises, which will be held on an electrically propelled, crewed narrowboat, are scheduled to launch in 2020, and will operate on the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes, from Cosgrove to Fenny Stratford. The objective of this new leisure attraction is to provide an enjoyable and relaxing trip, while raising awareness of the benefits to the local communities. These include social, health and economic benefits that contribute to overall community development within Milton Keynes and, in particular, the new Campbell Wharf development.

The service will run from March to December and carry up to 4,000 passengers a year on a wide variety of trips that will offer ‘something for everyone’ – from short Santa cruises and Friday night ‘bubbles and bites’ to relaxing days out in nature and walkers’ one-way hops.

The funding provided by MK Community Foundation will be used to make the state-of-the-art community boat disability-friendly with the installation of an access lift and toilet area for wheelchair users and physically frail people who would otherwise be unable to board a boat. The funding will also be used to ensure the boat is eco-friendly; using fully electric propulsion instead of the conventional diesel, which not only provides the unique experience of gliding along the water, but also reduces emissions and improves the Milton Keynes environment.

Jane Hamilton, Chair of the Bedford and Milton Keynes Trust, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this very generous grant from Milton Keynes Community Foundation. It provides a huge boost to the fund raising for the new Milton Keynes Community Boat by the Trust and project partners Crest Nicholson/Campbell Wharf and The Parks Trust and will help ensure that we bring a new and exciting attraction to Milton Keynes. With help from supporters and volunteers we are aiming to launch the boat in the summer of 2020 and invite all communities in Milton Keynes to come to Campbell Wharf and take a trip on the Grand Union Canal. The boat will be accessible to all and in keeping with the ethos of Milton Keynes benefit from innovative all-electric power”.

Ranjit Singh, Associate Philanthropy Director at Milton Keynes Community Foundation says:

“This is a project that we are really excited to fund here at Milton Keynes Community Foundation, not only will this create an amazing opportunity for people to take part in affordable activities on the community boat but it will also promote community development as well. Inclusivity is really important to us here at MK Community Foundation, so we are thrilled to support this new project that is focusing on being disability-friendly, while also caring for our environment, which is a growing concern as well, not only locally, but nationally”.

The Trust is keen to hear from individuals and businesses that might like to get involved with the project. The next public meeting to discuss plans and progress on the project will be held on Monday 09 March 7-9pm at the Parks Trust Pavilion in Campbell Park. All are welcome. In the meantime more information about the project can be found at:

If you are a local community group looking for funding for an upcoming project, you can find out more about Milton Keynes Community Foundation’s grant making programmes on our website at: