The Grand Union Canal is the UK’s longest canal, extending from Central London out to the Chilterns and eventually the suburbs of Birmingham. The network is made up of the Old Grand Union, the Grand Junction and the Regents Canal and since 1929 has been known as the Grand Union Canal.
Three apartment buildings on Campbell Wharf will have a connection to the history of the waterway as they have each been named after one of the canals: Union Court, Regents Court and Grand Court. Construction on this waterway between London and the Midlands began in 1793 and was completed in 1805, with the 10 mile section through Milton Keynes being the longest without any locks.
In the first half of the 19th century, the canals flourished as they were used to transport heavy goods such as bricks, straw, grain and timber to the capital faster and cheaper than on the poor roads of the time.
With the invention and proliferation of the railways however came the decline of canals across Britain. Nowadays the canal still plays a key role in many people’s lives, providing leisure and recreation opportunities to boaters, walkers and cyclists.
The new marina is the focal point for the entire development drawing local people throughout the day and evening, with options for food and drink within the marina quarter it promises to be a vibrant destination. It will also link the city to the canal network and so draw visitors to Milton Keynes. When complete with 111 berths and covered jetties, the marina will offer facilities and services for passing boaters.
Campbell Wharf marks the start of the proposed Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Park – which aims to link the Grand Union Canal to the River Great Ouse in Bedford. This is the first section of the waterway to be dug, the new inlet connects the waterway to the existing canal, a key milestone for the BMKWT project. First proposed over two hundred years ago, the 26km waterway will make up the ‘missing link’ in the national network, making it possible to navigate from the River Severn to the Wash on the East Coast.