Milton Keynes | The City of Dreams

Milton Keynes - Bridgehead

Milton Keynes is internationally renowned as a ‘designed new town.’ Created in 1967 under the New Towns Act, it was awarded official city status in 2022. Designed on a grid system, it is famous for having over 130 roundabouts! They were the first UK city to have kerbside recycling, and delivery robots are the norm on the redway system. Discover whether Milton Keynes should be on your list for UK expansion.

Economic Vibrancy

The local economy is worth over £14bn (GVA, 2020). Milton Keynes has a GVA per filled job of £76,587 (2020), one of the highest in the UK and 32% higher than the national average. The city is home to 12,675 businesses (2022). Approximately 40,000 people work in central Milton Keynes working in offices, shops, restaurants, and the cultural and leisure sector.

Milton Keynes has a strong and thriving tech sector, with an estimated Tech GVA of £3.4bn (2022). Notable strengths lie in robotics and autonomous vehicles. Wholesale and retail are the region’s major employers. [1]

Strategic Infrastructure Investment

Milton Keynes sits at an important economic and strategic crossroads, centrally located between Cambridge and Oxford, and between London and Birmingham. The city boasts excellent travel connections, with access to central London by train within 35 minutes. In addition, there is access to five international airports, all within a 90-minute commute.

As part of the Government’s Town Fund, Milton Keynes was awarded £22.7m to invest in regeneration projects for Bletchley and Fenny Stratford.

Education and Innovation

Close to Milton Keynes lies Bedford, home to Cranfield University, a British postgraduate-only public research university specialising in science, engineering, design, technology, and management. Businesses serious about scaling join students at the world-renowned Cranfield School of Management, where notable alumni include Cobra Beer, Hotel Chocolat, and Rolls-Royce.

At Walton Hall in Milton Keynes, the Open University has a 45-hectare campus. A total of over 2,500 individuals work in administrative, operational, and support functions at this facility, as well as over 1,000 academic and research staff.

The University of Bedfordshire has a campus located in central Milton Keynes. In partnership with the Central Bedfordshire and West Northamptonshire Councils, they offer a Business Growth & Innovation Support Programme, funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), designed to help local businesses grow and prosper.

Championing Sustainability

Milton Keynes Council has outlined plans to become the world’s greenest and most sustainable city by becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050, aiming to deliver one of the most sustainable economies and growth models in the world. The council recognises local businesses committed to the goal of reaching Net Zero by 2030, offering the MK Net Zero 2030 Business Accreditation to those with a Net Zero target.

Low Carbon Workspaces offers small and medium-sized businesses in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Milton Keynes grants of between £1,000 and £6,750 to cover up to a third of the cost of making energy improvements.

Innovation Hub for Entrepreneurs

Milton Keynes has been named one of the UK’s top five cities for business startups per 10,000 population, according to a study by Paymentsense (2021). It ranks an impressive 12th place among the 50 most innovative towns and cities across the UK.

The Unlocking Growth Report by Eagle Labs (2021) reported that Milton Keynes is ranked 12th for the number of high-growth companies across UK local authorities. [2]

Support for Local Businesses

Invest MK’s team is best placed to support and advise local businesses to start, grow, and thrive in Milton Keynes.

Chamber MK was established in 2013 and offers a host of events in person and online to allow business members to share knowledge, empower growth and be part of a business community.

Federation of Small Businesses is a not for profit small business advice, financial expertise, support and membership group to help small businesses.

MK business leader partnership were formed in 2008 and are committed to being a representative body of the diverse business community in Milton Keynes. Through partnership and collaboration, it strives to be a valuable and authoritative influencing voice, focused on investing in, and showcasing, the continued and sustained growth of Milton Keynes’ business, community, people, and skills.

South Midlands Growth Hub provides free business advice and guidance across the South East Midlands. They are a multipurpose, multifunctional hub aimed at all businesses, of all sizes, industry or stage along their journey to success. Their work is focused on three core areas: business support, funding and grants, and resource provision.

Success Stories

Expandly is a cloud platform, providing small businesses selling on eBay, Amazon, Etsy and their own website with a multi-channel solution.Their mission is to grow SMB and D2C eCommerce retailers to sell across multiple channels with ease.

WD40 is an American manufacturer of household and multi-use products. This includes the well known brands: WD40, No Vac and Carpet Fresh to name a few. In 1985, they opened their first European head office in Milton Keynes. 

Xero an accounting software firm founded in 2006. Today, Xero has 4.16 million subscribers and is a leader in cloud accounting across New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. Their UK HQ is located in Milton Keynes.

Why Choose Milton Keynes?

Milton Keynes is an economically vibrant, well connected city with a supportive environment for businesses. If you are a tech-based business, then it should be on your shortlist. 

 

References:

[1] https://www.investmiltonkeynes.co.uk/facts-and-statistics

[2] /https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2022-09/Milton%20Keynes_Tech_Report_220922.pdf