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SEMLEP supports MK Futures 2050 Commission report

11 July 2016

SEMLEP has pledged its support for the MK Futures 2050 Commission report entitled ‘Making a Great City Greater’.

The Milton Keynes Futures 2050 Commission was set up by Milton Keynes Council in September 2015 to explore the longer term future of Milton Keynes as it emerges as a UK city and economy of increasing significance.  The Council put together the Commission, chaired by Sir Peter Gregson, the Vice Chancellor of Cranfield University, as an independent panel of experts, balancing local knowledge with national and international experience.

The report sets out the Commission’s ambitious vision for the future of Milton Keynes and its potential to grow from today’s population of 268,000 to around 400,000 people with a commensurate increase in jobs. This would mean some 42,000 homes being built beyond current plan totals.

Included in the report is a reference to the importance of working with SEMLEP. The report states: “To make the most of the opportunities offered by the Cambridge–Milton Keynes–Oxford arc it will be necessary to ensure that existing partnerships (particularly SEMLEP) see this as a priority, and to establish new devolved formal partnerships with adjacent authorities, particularly in light of their commitments to growth.”

Dr Ann Limb DL CBE, Chair of SEMLEP, said: “We are excited to be working with Milton Keynes Council and are fully support of this 2050 Milton Keynes strategy and indeed see this as a priority. We look forward to working with the commission and to developing the 2050 strategy and its individual projects.”

The report identifies six interrelated ‘big projects’ and is being considered by Milton Keynes Council at a special meeting on 20th July 2016. The Council is likely to require that an outline delivery plan be produced by October 2016. 

One of the six projects is to maximise the opportunities provided by the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Corridor, and to take advantage of the investment in infrastructure within the area, including East-West Rail and the A421 Expressway which could serve new locations for the further expansion of Milton Keynes.

Other projects identified in the report are interlinked with the role of Milton Keynes as the hub of the corridor. 

The Commission’s report identifies the importance of a highly educated workforce, advocating a project to create a new style university for Milton Keynes that will help make the city an increasingly attractive location for the knowledge intensive business sector.  

Similarly, there is a focus on the development of central Milton Keynes as an enhanced  business and retail location. Developing new approaches to 'shared, smart sustainable mobility' will help address emerging congestion and build on the area’s reputation as a global centre for transport innovation (including the city’s projects on driverless cars and electric mobility and being home to the Transport Systems Catapult).     

For a full copy of the report click HERE

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