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‘The jewel in the crown’: Developers unveil an innovation hub within MK Gateway plans

DEVELOPERS working on the new MK Gateway project in Central Milton Keynes have unveiled plans for an innovation hub offering workspace to start-ups and trailblazers.

The Shed pictured above is one of two distinct buildings within MK Gateway, the redevelopment of the former council offices at Saxon Court into a future-focused knowledge hub.

The Shed is envisaged as a versatile space for creatives who have, until now, been relegated to the outskirts of Milton Keynes due to high rental rates. The building will host hi-tech equipment and bright minds in a bid to showcase local innovation and aims to attract entrepreneurs and innovators from fields as diverse as fashion and food, drink and digital.

The Shed was originally due to be a second, smaller residential block, with the overall majority of the planned 288 apartments to rent being housed within a taller block, The Village.

Steve Eccles

However, public feedback from several rounds of consultation has convinced mixed-use developers Socius and investors Patron Capital to alter the plans to answer calls for creative and independent space for businesses.

Socius project director Steve Eccles said: “During the planning stage we made it our mission to work closely, and listen to, local organisations and communities and there are a large number of businesses looking for a space like this. The result is plans for a building that is well designed but straightforward to help offer versatile workshop space that is efficient yet minimalist to keep rents low.”

The Shed is based on other similar concepts in Oxford and Cambridge..

“We believe that if we start bringing these creative businesses into Central Milton Keynes the value add will be huge,” said Mr Eccles. “The Shed may become the jewel in the crown of MK Gateway.”

Milton Keynes Council’s deputy leader Cllr Robin Bradburn said: “The plans are an exciting new addition to Central Milton Keynes providing start-ups with a creative space. Our city is brimming with aspirational entrepreneurs and spaces like these give them the opportunities to reach their full potential.”

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