Be our champions of culture, council urges businesses

Nov 25, 2019

Fiona Boundy presents at the Business MK Club meeting.

2020 is set to be a milestone year for culture in Milton Keynes. The city is preparing to begin 12 months as a European City for Sport, which will encourage the population to be more active, and will host the biennial IF: Milton Keynes International Festival.

And business has a key role to play in promoting these landmark events and the Milton Keynes cultural offer in general, according to Milton Keynes Council’s creative and culture manager.

“We are passionate about culture in Milton Keynes,” said Fiona Boundy. “We believe our offer is incredible but we need business to come and support it by enjoying the culture and shouting about the fantastic offer we have.

“We are looking to grow the city’s cultural offer. It needs to reflect the wider growth of the city and the diversity of our community. The whole new town narrative that there is no history is just not true. There is a rich history here.”

The council is investing in promotion of the Milton Keynes heritage sites, including Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes Museum and MK Gallery. Interest in the annual Heritage Days is growing, with more than 150 events earlier this year, she added.

Ms Boundy was speaking to an audience of more than 80 businesspeople at the latest Business MK Club networking meeting, held at Woughton House Hotel. There is also opportunity for businesses in the year as a European City of Sport, she added. “It is a fantastic award for us and we need business to be involved.”

Check out the Business MK Club meeting at Woughton House Hotel. Watch the video, join today… and add value to your business.

The council bid for the title in order to unlock more opportunities for investment into sports and physical activity and to encourage active and healthy lifestyles among the population. European City of Sport status comes ahead of Stadium MK hosting UEFA Women’s EURO’s 2021 football in two years time. 

Milton Keynes was chosen as a European City for Sport by ACES Europe, the European Cities and Capitals of Sport Federation. Its vice president John Swanson said: “The assessors were really impressed at the range and diversity of sport on offer across the city and the ambition of the city in its plans for future development.

“Not only will the award have far-reaching benefits for the entire city but designation as European City of Sport in 2020 will also provide the perfect platform to deliver sports activities available to all ages and communities.”

Ms Boundy was joined by the council’s director of growth, economy and culture Tracy Darke and inward investment and partnership manager Amanda Creed who outlined the services offered by the council to business. 

Ms Darke said the council is keen to work with business to support their growth plans. Planners are working to incorporate the needs of business into the overall planning policy, including the pipeline of development sites. “Planning is important to business and we need to understand the needs of businesses now and in the future within our planning policy.”

The council also provides a pre-planning service, she said, working with businesses to shape planning applications ahead of a decision by councillors. “We can help to work an application into the best possible shape so it has an easy ride through the planning process,” she said.

The council is keen to understand the mood of business and shape its policies accordingly. Ms Creed said: “We need to understand what businesses’ requirements are going forward. We want to hear what is working, what is not and that will help to inform policy.”

The next Business MK Club meeting takes place on December 12. Book your place here

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