To create a nationally recognised Waterway Park linking Bedford and Milton Keynes for the social, economic and environmental benefit of our communities.
The waterway park will be the Flagship blue/green infrastructure project within the Oxford to Cambridge Arc creating a green corridor at the heart of the new developments, linking communities and creating a unique sense of identity and space.
It is a waterway for everyone. The waterway park will provide vastly improved opportunities for boating, canoeing, fishing, cycling, walking or just relaxing. Serving local people, enhancing the local environment and benefitting the local economy through tourism, regeneration and new development.
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Delivering economic growth through tourism, regeneration and new development
Promoting healthy living with new recreational facilities both on and off the water
Helping flood & water management across the Great Ouse catchment and beyond
Enhancing the local environment, increasing bio-diversity and establishing a new waterway park
The waterway park will provide new recreational and leisure opportunities both on and off the water. It will be accompanied by accessible footpaths, cycle paths and a green corridor enhancing the regional biodiversity and delivering significant benefits to the local economy from tourism, regeneration and new development. The waterway park also has the potential to assist with flood management and water transfer across the Great Ouse catchment and beyond.
"There is compelling evidence that people who live near water or green space, or have regular access to it, are happier, healthier and more productive.” Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the EA
BMK Waterway Trust
The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust is a charity and company limited by guarantee. It was established in 1995 to “promote and assist in the provision and maintenance of a new waterway and associated facilities and structures connecting the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes to the River Great Ouse at Bedford, for the benefit of local inhabitants and visitors”.
Jane has over 35 years’ experience in urban planning
Jane has over 35 years’ experience in urban planning and development, including key roles in major urban regeneration projects and the development of English New Towns. She has worked with both public and private sector organisations at both local and central government levels. Jane has degrees in Social Science and Urban Planning and has lived in Bedford for over 30 years. She has a wide range of interests, especially foreign travel and walking. Now fully retired, Jane joined the Board of the Bedford to Milton Keynes Waterway Trust in 2014.
BSc (Hons) DiplEng CEng MICE MCIHT MTPS Simon Clewlow
BSc (Hons) DiplEng CEng MICE MCIHT MTPS Simon Clewlow became a Chartered Civil Engineer in 1990 and has primarily provided transport planning and engineering advice to a range of largely private sector clients. Simon spent 17 years with Capita Symonds, on leaving in 2009 he was the Director of Development Transport and Infrastructure. For the last 7 years Simon has run a private transport planning practice advising clients across the South and East of England. Simon has been active in the Institution of Civil Engineers serving as the National Chairman of its Associate Members Graduates and Students section and is currently the lay member of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Conduct and Discipline Panel and a past president of the Bedford Civil Engineering Society.
A.M.I.E.E Don is a retired Electrical Engineer present
A.M.I.E.E Don is a retired Electrical Engineer presently the Financial Director and Company Secretary for the B&MK Waterway Trustee and MD of the former MK International Festival (a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee). Don is one of the Boatmaster on the Trust's passenger boat the John Bunyan, owns his own narrow boat and has been narrow boating for over 39 years. He is a member of 5 canal restoration Societies.
BSc (Hons) CEng MICE Julian Armitage has spent a numbe
BSc (Hons) CEng MICE Julian Armitage has spent a number of years as an HR specialist with major construction companies. In 2002 he renovated a derelict windmill, which he has just sold. He is keen to see the Waterway built and believes this vision will become a reality only with buy-in from the local community, public authorities, private investment and the government. He is committed to trying to bring this about quickly. A keen golfer, Julian is a volunteer driver of the Villager bus, serving North Bedfordshire villages. He is also a Trustee of Amicus Trust providing housing for homeless people.
Stephen has held a number of senior roles with leading
Stephen has held a number of senior roles with leading Telecommunication Software organisations including Ericsson, Telcordia, Intec Telecom, Invisix (Motorola & Cisco Alliance), Siemens Network Systems and Racal Datacom. He has developed and implemented strategic Market Communications Partner Programs, Developed Partner Enablement programs with leading Global System Integrators. Stephen has advised on training needs and requirements and worked with Product Managers and Senior Marketing Managers to develop Partner Readiness Strategies and Programs for Product portfolios. He has an extensive background in helping companies grow existing and new markets through the building of sustainable, strategic business and technical partnerships that have resulted in long term revenue growth.
James was raised and educated in Bedford, he is passion
James was raised and educated in Bedford, he is passionate about promoting the town and surrounding area and believes the Waterway Park will be a huge benefit to the area. The family farm is close to the route of the Waterway Park so James has been interested in the progress of the project for many years before joining the board in 2019. A graduate of Imperial College London, he spent his early career working in the downstream oil industry in government affairs and emergency planning. In 2007 he was involved in setting up Box End Park in Kempston, a family business and diversification project and now works there full time.
Beryl has worked in the not-for-profit sector for more
Beryl has worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than 30 years. She represented her organisation at both national and international forums and was responsible for developing active and genuine collaborations with a number of partners. She has extensive experience in strategic planning and its subsequent implementation, as well as event and general project management skills. She has a good understanding and knowledge of the importance of developing and monitoring a charitable organisation’s key performance indicators, together with an appreciation of the many challenges currently facing charities. In 2011, she received the MBE for services to women’s health.
John is responsible for planning in the Milton Keynes s
John is responsible for planning in the Milton Keynes section of the route and shares this responsibility with Jane Hamilton. After three decades working for local authorities, latterly as Chief Executive of Milton Keynes Council, John now lives in MK and has an international portfolio of activities relating to place-making and place shaping. He brings experience of developing community-led waterway-based projects having for several years been secretary of the Lee Valley Association in North-East London, and now sees the B&MK Waterway as one of the most ambitious elements of the shaping of this sub-region.
Chris has spent most of his career in education includi
Chris has spent most of his career in education including seven years as the Head teacher of a large secondary school in Peterborough. From 2009 to 2012 Chris was Director of Children’s Services with Bedford Borough Council. Chris then embarked on a career as a consultant and School Improvement Partner delivering contracts for several LAs. He has been a Governor for over 25 years with considerable experience of Chairing; a Trustee of The Collaborative Academies; a member of the Diocese of St. Albans Education Trust; and a National Leader of Governance since January 2014. Chris became involved in the John Bunyan Community Boat in 2012, qualifying as a Boatmaster in 2015 and serving as Chair of the Enterprise Board from 2016-18. He joined the Trust Board in 2019.
BSc Hons, MBA Drew is responsible for the planning asp
BSc Hons, MBA Drew is responsible for the planning aspects along the Bedfordshire section of the route and he has lived in Bedfordshire since 1982. Drew is a business project manager with over 30 years track record in varied industries including engineering, electronic publishing, market research and public consultation. He first became involved in the Waterway in 2007 while at Renaissance Bedford where he led on infrastructure planning to support the homes and jobs growth in Bedford and Marston Vale. Drew was involved in setting up the Consortium and was its first Secretary; he was also Chair of the sub-group, the Bedford and Marston Vale Waterway Parks Steering Group.
Membership Development Director
Leigh joined the Trust as a director at the 2015 AGM an
Leigh joined the Trust as a director at the 2015 AGM and continues in his role as Membership Secretary which he has held since 2003. Leigh has worked in the logistics industry for over 30 years and is now a consultant in warehouse design. He has always enjoyed being on or by the water, has had boating holidays since his childhood and even spent a short time as a merchant seaman.
Sir Samuel Whitbread KCVO
We are delighted and privileged to have the support of
We are delighted and privileged to have the support of Sir Samuel Whitbread KCVO. Sir Samuel Was Bedfordshire's Lord Lieutenant for 21 years and became our first patron in March 2012. Just over 200 years ago his great-great grandfather Samuel Whitbread, Member of Parliament for Bedford, was the driving force behind the plan to create a waterway linking the Grand Junction Canal (now the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes) with the River Great Ouse at Bedford.