Milton Keynes' 50th Birthday


On 23rd January 2017, Milton Keynes celebrated its 50th anniversary marking the date of the Designation of the New Town.  This provided a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the diversity and vibrancy of our city, and to present to the world its unique story. Milton Keynes Council co-ordinated the MK50 programme of activity for 2017, recruiting a Project Manager and developing a tiered approach for communities and organisations across the city to engage with the celebratory year.  In order to deliver this opportunity, we asked individuals, communities, businesses, schools and organisations to collaborate in creating and delivering an inspiring programme of events. 

MK50 delivered:

  • Over 676,000 attendances to MK50 activity during 2017
  • Six events across the year each attracted over 10,000 attendees, including:  MK Dons Gift of Football ticket giveaway, MK Marathon, Festival of History, Heritage Open Days and Feast of Fire. 
  • First ever MK-wide PR approach, harnessing press, radio, TV, social media and city dressing to tell the story of the city, both within Milton Keynes, and to share it with the wider world. 
  • Over the actual birthday (23rd January), we achieved 47.9 million views of MK50 messages, growing to 89 million by the end of the year. 
  • PR coverage worth £2 million equivalent advertising spend was achieved across 2017.
  • 50 special sunflowers grown by students at St Mary’s and St Giles School in Stony Stratford.
  • The year also saw the creation of a set of MK50 commemorative stamps, the inaugural MK Lit Fest and HRH, The Duke of Cambridge visiting Milton Keynes and standing on top of Harminder the Elephant (created by Festive Road). 
  • Businesses across MK have contributed unexpected elements by giving away 50 free taxi rides, or free dinners for people also celebrating their 50th birthdays, proving the cumulative and contagious effect of civic pride and celebration.   

Last Updated: 27 February 2018