Points of interest
Milton Keynes ( mil-t?n-KEENZ), locally abbreviated MK, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, England. It is the administrative centre of the Borough of Milton Keynes and was formally designated as a new town on 23 January 1967, with the design brief to become a "city" in scale. It is located about 45 mi (72 km) north-west of London
- Map of Milton Keynes
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- Economy demographics geography and politics
Map of Milton Keynes
At designation, its 89 km2 (34 sq mi) area incorporated the existing towns of Bletchley, Wolverton and Stony Stratford along with another fifteen villages and farmland in between. It took its name from the existing village of Milton Keynes, a few miles east of the planned centre.
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At the 2011 census the population of the Milton Keynes urban area, including the adjacent Newport Pagnell and Woburn Sands, was 229,941, and that of the wider borough, which has been a unitary authority independent of Buckinghamshire County Council since 1997, was 248,800, (compared with a population of around 53,000 for the same area in 1961).
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In the 1960s, the British government decided that a further generation of new towns in the south-east of England was needed to relieve housing congestion in London.
Since the 1950s, overspill housing for several London boroughs had been constructed in Bletchley. Further studies in the 1960s identified north Buckinghamshire as a possible site for a large new town, a new city, encompassing the existing towns of Bletchley, Stony Stratford and Wolverton. The New Town (informally and in planning documents, "New City") was to be the biggest yet, with a target population of 250,000, in a "designated area" of 21,850 acres (34.1 sq mi; 88.4 km2). The name "Milton Keynes" was taken from the existing village of Milton Keynes on the site.
The site was deliberately located equidistant from London, Birmingham, Leicester, Oxford and Cambridge with the intention that it would be self-sustaining and eventually become a major regional centre in its own right. Planning control was taken from elected local authorities and delegated to the Milton Keynes Development Corporation (MKDC).
The Corporations strongly modernist designs featured regularly in the magazines Architectural Design and the Architects Journal. MKDC was determined to learn from the mistakes made in the earlier New Towns and revisit the Garden City ideals. They set in place the characteristic grid roads that run between districts (grid squares), as well as the intensive planting, lakes and parkland that are so evident today. Central Milton Keynes was not intended to be a traditional town centre but a business and shopping district that supplemented the Local Centres in most of the grid squares. This non-hierarchical devolved city plan was a departure from the English New Towns tradition and envisaged a wide range of industry and diversity of housing styles and tenures across the city. The largest and almost the last of the British New Towns, Milton Keynes has stood the test of time far better than most, and has proved flexible and adaptable. The radical grid plan was inspired by the work of Californian urban theorist Melvin M. Webber (1921–2006), described by the founding architect of Milton Keynes, Derek Walker, as the "father of the city". Webber thought that telecommunications meant that the old idea of a city as a concentric cluster was out of date and that cities which enabled people to travel around them readily would be the thing of the future achieving "community without propinquity" for residents.
The Government wound up MKDC in 1992, 25 years after the new town was founded, transferring control to the Commission for New Towns (CNT) and then finally to English Partnerships, with the planning function returning to local council control (since 1974 and the Local Government Act 1972, the Borough of Milton Keynes). From 2004 to 2011, a Government quango, the Milton Keynes Partnership, had development control powers to accelerate the growth of Milton Keynes.
Along with many other towns and boroughs, Milton Keynes competed for formal city status in the 2000, 2002 and 2012 competitions, but was not successful. Nevertheless, the term "city" is used by its citizens, local media and bus services to describe itself, perhaps because the term "town" is taken to mean one of the constituent towns. Road signs refer to "Central Milton Keynes" or "Shopping" when directing traffic to its centre.
The open air National Bowl is a 65,000 capacity venue for large scale events.
Milton Keynes has a vibrant music scene, the most notable venues (besides The National Bowl) for concerts and gigs being, The Stables, MK11 at Kiln Farm Club and The Craufurd Arms.
In Wavendon, The Stables provides a venue for jazz, blues, folk, rock, classical, pop and world music. It is closely associated with jazz artists Cleo Laine and the late John Dankworth. The venue also hosts an annual summer camp for young musicians.
MK11 at Kiln Farm Club, is based within Kiln Farm Industrial Estate, off of Watling Street. In 2014 it was voted as MKs Best Live Music Venue by readers of local culture magazine Monkey Kettle. That year also saw the venue face potential closure, after it was served with a noise abatement order from the local council, following complaints from the neighbouring Sikh Temple. A petition was signed by 3500 supporters to save the club; this, coupled with noise reduction measures implemented by the clubs owners meant that MK11 was able to stay open.
The Craufurd Arms is a pub / live music venue based in Wolverton. It is a Victorian public house, with a small stage for intimate live gigs in the main bar, as well as a larger venue out at the back of the pub, for larger gigs and concerts.
Economy, demographics, geography and politics
Data on the economy, demographics and politics of Milton Keynes are collected at the Borough level and are detailed at Economy of the Borough and Demographics of the Borough. However, since the urban area is predominant in the Borough, it is reasonable to assume that, other than for agriculture, the figures are broadly the same.