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 will launch the Milton Keynes Community Boat in late spring 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 12-guest, fully-electric, 54-foot narrowboat. It has full disabled access, with a lift and a toilet that take 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.
Advance booking information will be available during April 2021.
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 are still looking to recruit volunteers for the 2021 season, and in particular we want to hear from people who may like to be a Cabin Host – it’s a great people-facing role, out and about on the water.
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.
We’re currently recruiting to both land team roles and boat crew roles. If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering roles in this exciting new project please contact the MK Community Boat Chair at email@example.com
Please help to float the MK Community Boat!
The Milton Keynes Community Boat will cost £140,000 ex VAT, plus further costs 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 will take place October 2020 – March 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.
Fundraising is ongoing to support the final set-up costs involved in fully equipping the galley and cabin for cruising, compiling a maintenance kit, and creating a suite of marketing and sales materials in a range of media. 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!