Arts Barge


Building the Barge


The Barge

The Arts Barge Project rescued Selby Tony in 2013. She was one of a small fleet belonging to BOCM factory in Selby and used to work on the River Ouse transporting animal feed, newsprint and other goods between Selby, York, Goole and Hull.

Since 2013 she has undergone remedial steel works in Waddington’s Boat Yard in Swinton and passed a full survey. She has undergone steel conversion works by Hirst Boatbuilders in Knottingley, to Architects specifications by DSP Architects.

Funds for the project are raised through arts events, regular donations, crowd funding, grants and private investment. The project started in 2009 and we continue to raise funds to finish the job!

Latest Update: SEPT 19

The barge has undergone new structural steelwork at Hirst Boatbuilders in Knottingley and been made ready for use in basic converted state for the summer. The roof and railings are on and the 1 meter walls marking out the deck house are built. The floor and beautiful staircases are in. The internal hold has had an initial undercoat, and the exterior has been painted to near original colours by a fantastic team of volunteers. The barge also had a Stability Test in July at Hirst Boatbuilders.

For the journey back to York, the barge had to be ballasted down with 45 tons of water and sand in order to get under the bridge at Great Heck. Acaster Water Transport did an amazing job with their tug Little Shuva. See a video of this extraordinary feat below!

The Arts Barge made its debut season as a temporary festival venue between 18th July and 8th August ‘19. This ‘introductory opening’ helped raise funds to pay for the conversion work.

Selby Tony will spend the next year in Foss Basin in York where internal fit-out, installation of a deck-house will take place. The construction of a permanent mooring in Tower Gardens with mains utilities will however be the priority job. If you might be able to help in any way, please get in touch!