When it was declared ‘one of the 50 best places to live in Britain’ by the Sunday Times earlier this year, the judges described Milton Keynes as a ‘marmite town’. As it happens, this isn’t the first time Milton Keynes has been referred to as a town of contradictions. MK, as the town is referred to by the locals, is always trying to find a balance. The town is green, yet full of roundabouts and dual-carriageways. It’s surrounded by nature, yet planned from the ground up by urban planners who copied the American grid system. It is aimed at commuters and local workers simultaneously. So what is it that makes new towns, and Milton Keynes in particular, such great places to work?
They Attract Business Through Convenience
New towns were created to build good living and working environments. The aim was that, by providing good infrastructure, tax cuts and facilities, they would attract investment and offer job opportunities. In many new towns, you’d find business parks that specialise in new technologies and innovative economies. Milton Keynes is especially well located. The town benefits from strong links to London and Birmingham, including regular rail connections and easy access to motorways such as the M25 and the M1.
It’s Easy To Take A Break From Work
You never have to go far to find some sort of distraction from work in Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes is known for its huge shopping centre, which is due to be upgraded. Entertainment complex The Point, built in 1985, includes the first multiplex cinema in the UK. And the town even has an indoor snow centre, if you fancy a spot of lunchtime skiing.
Milton Keynes Encourages A Workplace Ecosystem
Milton Keynes is home to several national and international companies, including the UK headquarters of Argos, Mercedes-Benz and Suzuki. The town also has highest number of business start-ups in the country. When many businesses are located near to each other, this can encourage competition and collaboration, as well as the possibility to build ‘ecosystems’ that can promote a better and easier work life. Some government initiatives, for example, are aimed at integrating health facilities and programmes in areas were a lot of companies are located, such as business parks. This makes it easier for companies to organise workplace health programmes, and cheaper for employees to benefit from these programmes.
There Is Space For Further Development
Only this week, for instance, it was announced that the development of the Theatre District in Milton Keynes has reached its final phase. When completed, it will create over 100 new jobs in Milton Keynes. Construction is expected to start this summer. It’s expected that construction alone will stimulate a further £20m investment in the local economy.
They Inspire People To Think Creatively
The brutalist architecture of many new towns and the system of urban grids on which they were built can fire up a sense of rebellion, causing employees to want to think outside the box.
Bearing in mind all the above, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the town of Milton Keynes is becoming not only a more popular place to live, but a more popular place to do business too. In January this year, the independent think tank Centre for Cities published a new report which stipulated that jobs in Milton Keynes had tripled over the last three decades, thereby making it one of the country’s ‘most dynamic local economies’.
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