Project Six - the Creative and Cultured City

Project Six recognises the significant economic role that culture plays, proposing that more is done to establish MK as a place known by visitors, workers and residents for its distinctive culture whether for art, heritage, sports, creativity, innovation, business and community.  We also know that a new undergraduate university in the city centre will create opportunities and benefits from having a resident student population, with the cultural and independent offer that will grow up around the campus.

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 The Creative and Cultured City project helps to bring together related cultural opportunities, including the preparation of MK’s bid to be European Capital of Culture (ECoC) in 2023, building on the momentum of the MK50, the 50th birthday celebrations and ongoing review of cultural policy and strategy so it is fit for purpose.


As part of a two-year, £300k programme to enhance MK as a visitor destination, specifically to cultural venues, we have approval to install e-car charge stations at up to ten cultural sites, commissioned three artists to create vinyl artworks for part of the electric car fleet and included cultural venues in the revised redways and canal/ towpath maps.


The 50th birthday programme has been a huge success in terms of city profile and audience engagement.  High profile events this quarter included a visit from HRH Prince William and a documentary aired on BBC4 called ‘Milton Keynes and Me’. MK’s first Festival of History in Campbell Park attracted 10,000 people and Art in the Park; a festival celebrating diversity which also attracted 10,000 people.


Other highlights have included Steven Turner’s Exbury Egg, the MK50 and City Club Feast of Fire event in CMK, and the week-long CityFest programme with the Academy of Urbanism and International New Towns Institute.  Discussions with partners on how an International Festival of Creative Urban Living in 2019 could be developed from this successful experiment has started.

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