Celebrating the first anniversary of MKDP at Milton Keynes Market

In April 2023 MKDP took over operation of Milton Keynes Market, located in the heart of the city.

Building on its 40-year history, our goal was to create a modern and dynamic market that would boost the local economy by drawing traders and shoppers from across the city’s vibrant communities.

Over the past year we have implemented a programme of change to take the market from strength to strength – including modernising its operations, new market stalls and traders, and visual and technical upgrades.

New team, brand, and management software

Our new six-person market team was appointed to oversee day-to-day operations and to ensure we’re building meaningful relationships with shoppers, traders, and neighbours like Centre:MK.

We’ve invested in new branding, a new website, appointed a social media consultant, and introduced new staff uniforms – all of which helps us to spread the word about the market as a destination.

We have successfully transitioned all traders to a new management software system, including digital licenses, electronic payments, and statutory compliance auditing and monitoring.

Investing in people and facilities

Our investment in facilities has included refurbished offices and welfare areas, including new trader toilets, plus a new CCTV system and COSHH cabinets for safety and security.

Across the site we have undertaken electrical work and drainage surveys, followed by significant repairs and maintenance.

We have also invested in staff training including first aid training, ACT Terrorism training, and defibrillator training.

A cleaner, greener market

Across the site we have cut all waste by 50 per cent.

We undertook a deep clean of all walkways and awnings, and brought the new branding to life across the market with painted columns in market colours, branded stall covers, and tables for food traders.

We also introduced new rules to ensure walkways are kept clear and tidy and so that lines of sight are kept open.

What’s planned for the year ahead?

This programme of change is just the start, and we’re excited to continually improve the market so that it remains a vital part of Milton Keynes.

Looking ahead, we will increase electricity supply to enable continued growth, we will install new lighting, and will continue to invest in training for gas and fire safety.

We’re also installing new stalls and will relocate some stalls to improve sight lines from Centre:MK and to provide additional events space.

To find out more about the market and what’s coming up, please visit our website.

New proposals revealed for north side of Campbell Park

The developers creating a new neighbourhood on the north side Campbell Park in Milton Keynes have unveiled revised plans for the scheme’s first phase by the side of the Grand Union canal.

Urban Splash and Glenbrook first submitted plans last year, however following a public consultation on the plans held by Milton Keynes City Council the developers decided to withdraw their planning application and revise the designs.

Plans for the development have now been updated to account for feedback from local residents, with a reduction in the height of planned buildings and a new leisure space on site.

The revised plans now feature:

  • Five buildings with a range of heights (from 6 to 12 storeys), but all substantially lower than the towers previously proposed
  • A reduced number of homes – down from 450 to around 400
  • A new café, restaurant or bistro by the canal
  • A cycle link connecting to the existing Redway network
  • Biodiversity improvements to protect nature by the canal, including bat-friendly lighting, green roofs, and new wildflower meadows and wetlands areas

Urban Splash was appointed as the developer partner on the wider Campbell Park site by MKDP, committing to the creation of approximately 1,500 new homes. In the summer of 2023, it announced a joint venture partnership with Glenbrook who will support the delivery of the first part of the site.

Adam Sciberras, special projects director at MKDP, said: “We’re pleased to see these plans come forward, which have been revised with close consideration to the feedback last year – lowering the height of the buildings. The skyline in Milton Keynes is evolving, but we must engage with the community as part of that.”

Nathan Cornish, director at Urban Splash, said: “The feedback on our original proposals was clear: people did not want to see such tall buildings in this location. So we’ve reduced the number of homes proposed for the site, and significantly cut the height of the buildings.

“We’re still listening, and we’re going back out to consult the public again before we submit a new planning application.”

Sunny Johal, Glenbrook development director, said: “This is phase one of a larger planned development across the north side of Campbell Park, so it’s really important that we get this right. That’s why we’re happy to make these changes to ensure that the homes and public spaces truly reflect the aspirations of the local community.

“The park and the canal are two of the city’s best assets, and we want to complement them by creating green landscapes, play areas, enhanced walking and cycle routes to link up the Redways, and a pub or café to let people sit out next to the canal.”

Campbell Park View planning application successfully submitted

The planning application for Campbell Park View, a new city centre development of 285 homes for rent in Milton Keynes, has been successfully submitted.

Packaged Living acquired the site in 2023 and has now put forward a proposal which would regenerate the site of the theatre multi-storey car park on Avebury Boulevard.

In addition to the new apartments, a new leisure venue would be provided at ground and first floor to complement the neighbouring Milton Keynes Theatre, MK Gallery, and 12th Street leisure quarter.

Supporting MKDP’s vision to support cleaner, safer and healthier communities, the public space on the corner of Avebury Boulevard and Marlborough Gate would be improved with new seating, green planting, and better pedestrian connections.

The new development occupies the site of a former multi-storey car park next to Milton Keynes Theatre. The theatre car park closed in 2020. Milton Keynes City Council had identified the site as an important gateway which could see a mixed-used development brought forward.

Adam Sciberras, Special Projects Director for MKDP, explains how new developments are making a positive impact: “Central Milton Keynes has real potential for growth, and our priority is to make sure that new developments meet MKDP’s placemaking objectives and respect the city’s unique heritage.”

“Developments like Campbell Park View will play an important role in making Central Milton Keynes a vibrant and sustainable city centre, enhancing the surrounding built environment and boosting our already thriving culture. MKDP is looking forward to working collaboratively with Packaged Living.”

Sophie Gunn, Associate Director of Development for Packaged Living, said: “We’ve worked hard with our neighbours and local stakeholders to draw up plans for an architecturally excellent building in keeping with this important regeneration site.”

The planning application will now be considered by Milton Keynes City Council.

ExtraCare receives planning permission for expansion to Shenley Wood Retirement Village

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust has been granted planning permission to expand its Shenley Wood Retirement Village, one of its two retirement villages in Milton Keynes, onto adjoining land.

The expansion, designed by architects Stride Treglown, is set to include 81 units consisting of 73 apartments and eight bungalows, a multi-use community space and extensive landscaping. Following the construction of the additional units, Shenley Wood Village will become the largest integrated retirement community in the UK, with close to 400 total units.

ExtraCare is a registered charity which develops, operates and supports 16 villages and four housing schemes across the Midlands and neighbouring areas.

The land for the expansion has been purchased from the Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP).

Damien Lippett, Development Manager at MKDP, said: “This expansion will provide much needed additional housing for older people in Milton Keynes and the wider community at a time of increasing demand.  We’re looking forward to seeing the development progress in the near future and want to thank all partners involved for bringing this forward.”

ExtraCare will now look to appoint a construction partner. The proposed development is scheduled to start in the Summer of 2024 and will aim for completion by Summer 2026.

New leisure facilities bring new dimensions to Campbell Wharf

New leisure facilities bring new dimensions to Campbell Wharf

Milton Keynes Development Partnership’s (MKDP) vision of a thriving canal-side community at Campbell Wharf continues to take shape with the news that its development partner, Crest Nicholson, has exchanged contracts on three commercial units.

Local business Canal St Coffee will open its second speciality coffee bar following the success of its first outlet in Leighton Buzzard.  Serving high-quality coffee and food, their ambition is to provide a place for residents and visitors alike to socialise, conduct business and lounge as well as promoting local artistry, culture, and commerce.

For those in Campbell Wharf and the wider city looking to get fit and in shape, PT Workspace will be offering dedicated studio space for personal trainers to use with their clients.

Building on the success of the first two seasons of cruising from Campbell Wharf, the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust is set lease office and storage space to provide shore-based support to Electra, an all-electric volunteer-run narrow boat. Electra offers the community, either on public cruises or private charters, the opportunity of seeing a different perspective of the city on relaxing cruises along the 11-mile stretch of the Grand Union Canal that winds its way through Milton Keynes and its parks.

Matthew Green, Property Development Director at MKDP said, “It’s great to see two independent businesses signing up to take commercial space at Campbell Wharf; both Bogota Coffee and PT Workspace will bring an added vibrancy to the leisure and retail offer already at the scheme. We’re also very pleased that the dedicated team of volunteers, who put in so much time and hard work running Electra, will have a physical home at Campbell Wharf”.

Open University considers face to face offer alongside transformative move to city centre

The Open University is to prepare a business case for a world class university based in a sustainable green campus in Milton Keynes city centre. The plans support the city’s wider vison to develop one of the UK’s most vibrant city centres.

The University’s governing Council has agreed to initiate work on the strategic and financial case for a multi-million-pound relocation of the OU’s existing campus in suburban Milton Keynes to a new site adjacent to the central railway station. Find out more by reading the Open University’s media release.

Lower Westside Development Opportunity

One of three key masterplan proposals in CMK is
Lower Westside, the vision for which is a major new
precinct for technology, innovation, and education.
The broad concept for the area which extends from
Station Square outside the railway station to Block B4
• New workspace and research facilities
• A University presence
• A multi-purpose conferencing and events venue
• A new residential neighbourhood
• Well-designed public realm.

Find out more about this development opportunity.