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New cultural strategy plan goes out for discussion

The strategy builds on the recommendations of the MK Futures Commission in its report Making a Great City Greater.  It sets out how Milton Keynes can build on its unique cultural history as a place that “champions the radical and commissions the unknown” and create a cultural offer as vibrant and diverse as the city itself. 

The strategy is due to be discussed by Milton Keynes Council’s Cabinet at its meeting today (Tuesday) before the cultural sector has its say tomorrow at a meeting of the Arts & Heritage Alliance forum.

Ambitions outlined in the strategy include:
  • Milton Keynes to become the first UK place to recognise culture as a human right.
  • Support for home-grown talent, for instance through Pathways for Artists which helps young people find careers in the creative sectors.
  • Festivals and programmes which attract the best international artists.
  • The venues and programmes in Milton Keynes are accessible and attractive to all.
  • A revitalised city centre with landmark cultural facilities including a music venue for Central Milton Keynes, a concert hall and dance/performance venue.  
  • Developing programmes that contribute to the health and wellbeing of local people.

Some important projects for the cultural development are already under way, including MK Gallery’s expansion pictured and City Club, and the new galleries at Milton Keynes Museum.

There are also plans for a new Cultural Quarter in the city centre, plans for the National Bowl, a major expansion of the City Discovery Centre which houses Milton Keynes archives and the refurbishment of Milton Keynes Arts Centre.

MK Gallery director Anthony Spira said: “The new strategy shares the optimism and spirit of the city’s founders, which are so vital in realising the creative, social and educational potential of art, heritage and culture.

“MK Gallery welcomes being part a cultural strategy of such ambition and foresight.”

More than 1,000 individual conversations have taken place to support the development of the strategy including The Arts and Heritage Alliance (with a membership of 39 cultural organisations) the Heritage MK Consortium, MK Music Hub, and the MK Heritage Association (with over 70 local groups). 

Cllr Liz Gifford, cabinet member for culture, said:  “This strategy is important for the city not just because of its ambitions but also because of the way businesses have joined the cultural sector in creating its priorities.

“It is also testament to a city-wide commitment from public sector, cultural partners and private sector to develop and deliver a stronger and more inclusive cultural offer which we can all be proud of.”

The full strategy can be found at https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/leisure-tourism-and-culture/arts-and-heritage/ccs 

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