Planning Academy is forging next generation of planners

Cllr Marland speaking with planning academy graduates

Leader of MK City Council, Cllr Pete Marland and Director of Planning and Placemaking, Paul Thomas with MKCC planning graduates

MK City Council is celebrating the first year of its innovative Planning Academy which welcomed bright and enthusiastic graduates to develop their skills in one of the fastest growing cities in the UK.

In its first intake last year, the city council took on three graduates who have since been gaining invaluable experience across planning, urban design, conservation and archaeology, and the Milton Keynes Development Partnership.

The academy is an intensive programme led by the city council’s award-winning planning department to help graduates in any field (not just planning) learn and work to kick-start their careers. Graduates gain experience while undertaking a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited postgraduate degree followed by an End-point assessment (EPA) that leads to their becoming a Chartered Town Planner with MRTPI status. Graduates also have an option to join an external organisation for a placement.

With major projects including Milton Keynes East (5,000 homes), the state-of-the-art Glebe Farm School, and Santander’s flagship HQ building (Unity Place) graduates that enrol onto the academy are getting insight into some of the most exciting developments in the country.

The city council is now looking ahead to its next intake of graduates, who will start in September this year. The Planning Academy is already in demand with more than 70 applications for three places. Applications must be received by 28 May. Further details about the academy and how to apply can be found on   

“It’s really positive to see the graduates getting on so well and making the most of working in a modern, forward-thinking and award winning planning team. The Planning Academy is helping us attract and develop the best planners, through high quality on the job training and best practice work with the RTPI.

“I look forward to welcoming our new starters later this year.”
- Leader of MK City Council, Cllr Pete Marland