Soulbury Pumping Station project

If you've ever visited or cruised through Three Locks near Milton Keynes you may have notices a curious old disused building opposite the locks there. Well, thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we're bring Soulbury Pumping station back to life.

Soulbury then and now Soulbury then and now

National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) logoFunded by National Lottery Heritage Fund,we're currently refurbishing the Grade II listed pumping station and as part of this, we are running a number of exciting community activities in partnership with Living Archive.

The project aims to refurbish this important heritage building, taking it off the Heritage at Risk register and bringing it to life with a new tenant plus, facilities for our valued volunteer lock keepers. Our construction teams and apprentices have been hard at work lovingly restoring the heritage features of the building and rebuilding the brickwork and roof.

Roof trusses being repaired by apprentices in our workshop Roof trusses being repaired by apprentices in our workshop
Roof being installed by construction team Roof being installed by construction team

The project is a great opportunity to reach out to the local community, celebrate the history of the building and to encourage more people to feel the wellbeing benefits of being by water.

Open day and photo competition

As part of the project we held an open day at the Pumping Station in May. We had over 100 people attending and activities included an exhibition on the restoration, videos telling the stories of our volunteer lockkeepers, tours of the building and a family activity trail. 50 people took part in our Let’s Fish! fishing taster sessions held just downstream from the building. Visitors really enjoyed hearing about the work that had taken place and speaking to the engineers and apprentices who’ve been involved.

We also had the winning photographs from our Soulbury Photography competition on display. The winners – Stuart Gribbin, Wendy Taylor and M Smith won a one-day boat trip (courtesy of Drifters), a family visit to Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum and high street vouchers. Their photographs are now on display at MK Central library until 20 July.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Get in touch and share your stories about the area to feed into the materials we are creating
  • Attend the exhibition at Discover MK (Milton Keynes Central library) – on display between 21 May and 20 July
  • Attend the Children’s Canal Folk Art workshop at Discover MK on 6 July 10.00am-12.00pm – Tickets are free but you will need to book in advance via Eventbrite
  • Get out and about with the Soulbury Pumphouse Walking Trail – Available on the MK Trails app - a heritage discovery walk from the pumping station to Fenny Stratford
  • If you’re a local school – contact Living Archive about receiving learning resources and an assembly on the history of the canal
  • Look out for further Let's Fish! sessions

Last date edited: 11 June 2019