Charities reap the benefit as developer assesses public views on Saxon Court plans

Mar 25, 2021

Developer First Base’s vision for the Saxon Court site in Central Milton Keynes.

THE RESPONSE of more than 6,500 people to plans for the redevelopment of Saxon Court in Central Milton Keynes had led to donations to a total five local charities by the developer.

First Base has split £2,000 between grant-making organisation Milton Keynes Community Foundation and MK Act women’s refuge.

It acquired the former council offices at Saxon Court in Avebury Boulevard in October with investor Patron Capital. The second and final stage of the public consultation, which has been feeding into the emerging proposals for the redevelopment of the site, has concluded. 

Respondents collected points by answering questions and sharing their views on the development plans. On completion of the polls, they were invited to donate their points to either of the two charities, which First Base turned into a charitable cash donation. 

A further £1,500 has been donated directly by First Base and Patron to local charity organisations, MK SNAP, Ride High, and Milton Keynes University Hospital. 

The virtual exhibition of the plans for Saxon Court brought reaction from more than 6,500 people.

“Engagement through consultation is the best way for First Base to understand how we can complement the community and giving back to the charities that operate here is one way we can thank participants,” said First Base’s head of engagement and social value Liam Ronan-Chlond.

“We are very pleased to be able to donate to so many Milton Keynes charities so that the local community can continue to benefit from the great work they do.” 

Plans for the 200,000 sq ft building include the development of flexible workspace, a gym, an innovation hub and local independent food, drink, leisure and retail. First Base also plans to add new build housing with around 287 apartments for rent.

The first phase of consultation, which took place at the end of last year, saw more than 1,500 residents give their feedback. In the second phase, which has just concluded, more than 5,500 people responded with 3,500 people visiting the virtual exhibition space on the project website.  

Milton Keynes Community Foundation’s chief executive Ian Revell said: “Good community consultation is key to creating an inspiring sustainable project and the Community Foundation is really pleased to be working in partnership with First Base as they develop their plans for the re-development of Saxon Court.

“Even better to receive a donation as a result, which will be added to our community fund to support voluntary community and culture groups across the borough.”

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