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It is time to rekindle our spirit of collaboration

THROUGHOUT 2017, residents and businesses of Milton Keynes will have the opportunity to be involved in a series of events, activities and campaigns aimed at highlighting a major milestone for the town – the MK50 celebrations.

While marking Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday, everyone connected with the area has a great opportunity to look back on some of the highlights of the last 50 years and to look ahead to the future.

Perhaps even more important than reflecting on how far the city has come and what might be on the horizon is how we, as individuals and organisations, can help to play an active role in shaping that future.

At Milton Keynes College, we understand that our position in the community allows us to be at the heart of the city’s future, helping to develop the skills required by industry. This includes young people making their first steps into work and also ensuring that existing employees are trained with the latest knowledge and standards.

The vision for the city is well portrayed in the recent report from the Milton Keynes Futures 2050 commission – in particular, the report highlights six major projects that will have a great impact on the city’s growth and development.

In forthcoming editions of this column, I would like to explore how Milton Keynes College can play a key role in supporting those projects, both through our own objectives and in working collaboratively with other major stakeholders and businesses in our community.

However, given the current celebrations of Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday, now seems a great opportunity to reflect on what has made the city popular and successful to date and what makes it stand out from the crowd as a place to live, work and do business.

Ask anyone who has spent time in Milton Keynes what makes it different and they will almost always tell you it is the ‘can-do’ approach of the people and organisations, constantly looking for new ways to do things that other urban areas might dismiss because ‘that is just not how things get done’.

There is an argument to say that ,while a positive approach to challenges is still prevalent in the city, it is not quite as intrinsic as it perhaps once was.

To a degree, that is natural as the city has expanded, with more stakeholders to appease and more agendas to satisfy. But the original spirit of creative collaboration may need to be rekindled if we are to continue growing as we all hope.

It is well known that Milton Keynes is scheduled to continue growing in the future with the population forecast to be almost 20 per cent greater in the next ten years, meaning that those of us who are here now will need to take a long-term view on how to continue presenting our city as a forward-thinking, all-encompassing community.

If we can maintain a collaborative approach to tackling our current challenges and tap in to the creativity and ingenuity that Milton Keynes is famous for, we can continue to grow our identity in line with our economy. 

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