Project Five - Renaissance: CMK
Within the city centre, there are parcels of vacant land and some underused buildings that could be developed (or redeveloped) to help to create the vitality and excitement that could be expected of a growing city. Renaissance:CMK represents a programme of projects that aims to create an even stronger and more successful city centre that is fit for the challenges of the mid-21st century. Through investment in new employment, residential, retail and leisure opportunities, drawing on the benefits that could be created by a new city centre university, and (re)developing vacant or underused buildings and land, Renaissance:CMK will help to create a prosperous city centre and capitalise on our position on the Cambridge-MK-Oxford corridor.
A well-attended stakeholder workshop was held in December 2017 that considered the challenges CMK is likely to face over the next 20-30 years. The agreed findings of the workshop are outlined below:
Diversity of development: There’s a need for increased mixed commercial/cultural use and a wider range of business uses. The city centre needs a more dynamic atmosphere and environment, making it a comfortable place to live for local people, welcoming for visitors and commercially attractive for businesses.
Vibrancy: The centre needs to be re-ordered if not redesigned. There’s a need for space for events with perhaps a civic square or pedestrian-only areas. Diversifying the usage would also help create vibrancy.
Make CMK attractive to investors: Not just high-street names and flagship employers but independents and small retailers, who will utilise space that is currently under-used or empty.
Transport: CMK needs to keep its options for change flexible. For example the developing technology of driverless cars: if the city centre could be made driverless-car friendly, that would help with transport issues and position it as a tech-friendly locale.
Innovation: We need to think differently about how we create spaces for people to come together to share ideas
Living: Make CMK a better place to live – more attractive, more affordable, with increased housing capacity.
To take the ideas forward the CMK prospectus has been produced and was launched in January 2019.
The prospectus outlines the key features of future development required to reflect the needs of Central Milton Keynes.
MK Development Partnership (MKDP) and ARUP have been working in collaboration over the future of Station Square to formulate a development brief on what could be done with the civic space. Since January 2019 there have been multiple workshop engagement sessions with the business in the surrounding area, community groups and key stakeholders to work through potential options for the space.
Over July 2019 a series of public consultations occurred to collect public opinion on three conceptual options of how the space could operate.
MKDP are also currently working with architecture firm Grieg and Stephenson on the future of the market located in CMK. They have been looking at the market’s relationship with Midsummer Boulevard East, centre:mk and how it interacts with the surrounding area and space. Further to this they are engaging with the existing market stall owners to ensure they capture the essence of the space going forward with future plans.