LANDSCAPING work is under way as Central Milton Keynes undergoes a spring clean ahead of welcoming employees, shoppers and visitors back when lockdown restrictions ease.
MyMiltonKeynes Business Improvement District has been busy revitalising the areas around Xscape, centre:mk and Midsummer Boulevard, clearing rubbish, pruning bushes and removing dangerous waste as part of the CMK Spring Clean project.
Street furniture in Midsummer Boulevard has repainted in shiny black and signage has been cleaned around the city centre.
The team, working in partnership with Milton Keynes Council, has removed almost 800 used needles and 10,000 litres of rubbish. Ongoing landscaping work around the Fred Roche Gardens between Midsummer and Silbury Boulevards has continued, with assistance from Milton Keynes Green Gym and the Fred Roche Foundation.
BID chief executive Melanie Beck said: “We are committed to making continuous improvements to the city centre and want to make it as safe and inviting as possible for all employees, residents and visitors to enjoy as Central Milton Keynes begins to reopen over the coming weeks.
“I am really proud of the MyMiltonKeynes team for the fantastic work that they continue to achieve. While lockdown stopped a lot of the regular activity that would be taking place in CMK, we have made the best possible use of the quieter period and have been able to make a significant difference as a result.”
Milton Keynes Council is spending £75,000 as part of the city centre clean-up. The programme of measures include cleaning underpasses, removing graffiti, pruning trees and a deep clean of Station Square by Milton Keynes Central railway station.
The council is also working with businesses and parish councils across the borough as they prepare for reopening.
Cllr Emily Darlington, cabinet member for the public realm said: ““We are committed to improve the look and feel of Central Milton Keynes and welcoming residents and visitors back when they are able to.
“We are also meeting with businesses and parishes on our historic high streets to support them to reopen and thrive while promoting residents safe return to shopping.”
Rediscover what is on your doorstep: Council urges residents to buy local
- Milton Keynes Council is urging businesses to get in touch ahead of the planned reopening of non-essential retail, personal care, and outdoor attractions and hospitality on April 12 to be part of a ‘Rediscover Local’ promotion.
It is also to offer four businesses a free quarter-page advertisement in its magazine for residents which will be delivered to homes around Milton Keynes in June.
The council will be encouraging local people to support and shop with local retailers, businesses and makers around Milton Keynes.
It wants to share personal stories of business owners with its 70,000 newsletter subscribers and social media followers: who they are and what is important to them, how they began their business, what they love about it and what is their proudest achievement.
The feature will also promote where customers can buy from them and which social media channels to follow.
Business owners can either send in a short written profile (no more than 200 words) and a photo, or a short video clip of 90 seconds or less to email@example.com along with business contact details.
Businesses with existing social channels can simply share their own material and tag MK Council and Invest MK for a repost. As many profiles will be shared as possible.
The council will be urging small businesses with social platforms to give a shout out to other nearby independents that they know and trust, and asking local residents to do the same.
It is also planning an advertising campaign from mid-April, encouraging people to support independent shops and businesses and to share details of their favourite independent businesses using free social media filter.
Cllr Carole Baume, cabinet member for economy and culture, said: “We want to help spread the message that independent businesses have a genuine emotional connection to the communities they serve.
“As lockdown measures allow, it is well worth rediscovering what is on your doorstep… not just unique products and services but a friendly and Covid-19 secure welcome too.”