MKDP leading National Bowl transformation as unique cultural hub

MKDP is developing proposals to modernise and reinvigorate the National Bowl Arena to create a vibrant year-round facility complemented by music based leisure, retail and hospitality venues.

Working with a project team comprising architects, leisure specialists, engineers the National Bowl’s owner MKDP is further researching how to deliver the investment and facilities required to make the site financially and practically viable.  This is taking into account feedback from its initial round of stakeholder engagement that has seen the team talking to a wide range of people across the city.

It is intended that upgraded facilities at the National Bowl will give Milton Keynes a unique attraction able to draw major performance artists and visitors from around the world.  The aim is to incorporate a range of uses that could help unlock MK’s musical heritage and recapture the spirit of invention required to leverage the city’s cultural assets defined by the MK Futures 2050 report.

Proposals under consideration include the creation of a permanent “music street” as a backdrop to the arena, with multiple venues offering year-round performance space for all genres of music speciality music retail, a hotel, themed restaurants, bars and other supporting facilities.

Charles Macdonald, chief executive of MKDP says: “Since the National Bowl opened in 1979, what both concert organisers and attendees expect from venues has changed significantly. While the National Bowl has an extremely strong music heritage, it is vital that the right decisions are made to regenerate it appropriately and put it back on the musical map where it belongs. Feedback to our ideas has been very positive and we look forward to being able to share more detailed plans later in the year.”

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