Milton Keynes Community Boat - Electra
Inspired by the success of the John Bunyan boat in Bedford, and informed by other Trusts’ small trip boats, the BMK Waterway Trust is delighted that Electra, the Milton Keynes Community Boat was craned into the Grand Union on 5th May 2021. It’s called a Community Boat because it is run entirely by volunteers, and it is open to everyone.
Electra is a brand-new fully-electric, 54-foot narrowboat that will accommodate up to 12-guest. It has disabled access, with a lift and a toilet that take an average size wheelchairs.
The name means ‘shining light’. Electra was the goddess of sea clouds, in which lightning is often seen, so it seemed a great choice for an all-electric boat and its sparky volunteer team.
Electra will operate out of the new Campbell Wharf development in the heart of Milton Keynes and offer cruises on the Grand Union Canal towards Cosgrove and Fenny Stratford. It will offer public cruises, private charters, seasonal specials and ‘park & parish cruises’ for local communities.
The Milton Keynes Community Boat will have a crew of two or three people: a Skipper on the helm, a Cabin Host to welcome and cater for passengers, and on longer, night, locking and party cruises an Assistant to help both the Skipper and the Cabin Host.
We’re still recruiting Cabin Hosts and shore crew – in particular people with marketing skills – for the 2021 season. Cabin Host is a great people-facing role, welcoming guests, making them feel comfortable, and running the small café/bar on board. Click on the links to find out more.
Behind every successful boat crew is a ‘Shore based team’ with all kinds of skills including IT, sales, marketing, PR, admin, finance, community outreach, management, maintenance, and training.
If you’re interested in volunteering with Electra, then please fill in and send this form and we’ll contact you within 24 hours.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Founding Sponsors & Supporters
The Trust is delighted to have worked with a wide range of Founding Sponsors and Supporters to bring Electra to Milton Keynes. Electra bears their names on panels located on both sides of the boat
Please help to float the MK Community Boat!
The Milton Keynes Community Boat will cost £140,000 ex VAT, with additional ~£26,000 to get the boat fully equipped, crew qualified, and all operations set up ready to trade.
Construction of the boat has been fully funded by a combination of contributions from the Trust, Trust members, Section 106 funding from Milton Keynes Council and a grant from Milton Keynes Community Foundation. The construction contract has been awarded to Colecraft Ltd and build taking place October 2020 – April 2021.
Initial costs of crew training, equipment and accreditation, and a community outreach pilot, have been covered by the Postcode Community Trust, a charity funded by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. We’re also grateful for support from Canalside Parishes and Ward Councillors.
We need to raise the final £3,000 by the end June, to fully equip the boat for cruising, compile a maintenance kit, and create a range of promotional items including signboards. Individual or group donations towards these costs will be very gratefully received. Donations can be made below. To find out what is still needed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a current list.
Every donation helps. These can be made online and can be Gift Aided too.
- raise the profile of the Trust at the western end of the route
- bring in new Trust members and volunteers in Milton Keynes
- raise additional funds to enable the work of the Trust
- enable residents and visitors to make more use of the canal and the parks it runs through
- help to improve the canalscape and increase community activity along the route
- demonstrate the local health, economic and social benefits that waterway parks can bring
There’s enthusiastic support for the Milton Keynes Community Boat … please join us!