Our Vision

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.

Discover the Waterway Route!

View the route img

History of the Waterway


Waterway Benefits

  • img

    Delivering economic growth through tourism, regeneration and new development

  • img

    Promoting healthy living with new recreational facilities both on and off the water

  • img

    Helping flood & water management across the Great Ouse catchment and beyond

  • img

    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.

To find out more download our Economic & Water Management studies. Please contact us if you wish to see the full appendix.

"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”.


The Board of Trustees/Directors has corporate responsibility for the Trust and its operation

BMK Waterway Enterprises Ltd

Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Enterprises Limited is the trading company formed in 2012 to manage the commercial activities of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust. It commissioned and runs the “John Bunyan” community boat, offering cruises and private charters on the River Great Ouse for up to 50 guests and is currently in the process of establishing a community boat on the Grand Union Canal. These projects raise the profile of the waterway park with local people as well as raising funds for the Trust which have paid for various technical, economic and feasibility studies to bring the waterway closer to reality.


The B&MK Waterway Consortium

The Consortium was formed in May 2010 to take the Waterway forward into the next stages of planning and design. The member organisations are shown below and include the three Local Authorities and key stakeholders. The Consortium meets twice a year in the spring and autumn to provide high level governance, oversight and co-ordination of activity. The Chair rotates between the three local authorities along the route.