On May 25th, The Duke of Edinburgh unveiled a new water facility in Bedford that will serve businesses and residents of the growing city for decades to come. This also marks the 50th aniversery since the Duke’s very first visit to Grafham Water. He opened the current reservoir in 1966 which also serves Milton Keynes, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.
The original reservoir was 1500 acres and was built to supply the growing population of the area of 50 years ago. Anglian Water’s new facility that cost approximately £28million will hold an additional 40million litres of treated water that will supply more than a million homes and businesses for years to come.
Anglian Water’s Chief Executive, Peter Simpson, said: “We were thrilled The Duke of Edinburgh has honoured Grafham Water with a visit – not just once, but on two landmark occasions in the site’s history. And it’s fantastic to see so many of the local community – our neighbours – here to celebrate too.”
He continued by providing a brief history of the company by saying: “Grafham Water was a trailblazing project when it was first conceived in the Sixties. The Duke called it ‘far-sighted’ at that time, and we continue to uphold that forward looking approach today.”
He went on to discuss the challenges the region faces and how the company has responded in a proactive manner: “As a region we face the twin challenges of population growth and the impact of climate change. As a company we have responded by building ever more resilient systems and this brand new facility just outside Perry is the latest example of that. As well as providing drinking water to millions across four counties, it’s part of a bigger jigsaw providing the essential infrastructure for sustainable growth in this important part of the country, underpinning the regional economy and ensuring this area remains a great place to live and work for generations to come.
Simpson ended by expressing his delight that His Royal Highness came to share this moment with the company and area: “We’re delighted the Duke has recognised this milestone with us.”