A mix of home grown talent and ‘championing the radical’ are next steps for creative and cultural M

Tuesday 27 February 2018


Arts, culture and heritage organisations across MK have worked together to create new ten year Creative and Cultural Strategy for the city.

The strategy builds on the recommendations of the MK Futures Commission in its report Making a Great City Greater.  It sets out how MK can build on its unique cultural history as a place that “champions the radical and commissions the unknown” and create a cultural offer as vibrant and diverse as MK itself. 

A few of the many ambitions described in the strategy are:

  • For MK become the first UK place to recognise culture as a human right.
  • Supporting home-grown talent, for instance through Pathways for Artists which helps young people find careers in the creative sectors.
  • Holding festivals and programmes which attract the best international artists to MK.
  • Making sure MK’s venues and programme are accessible and attractive to all.
  • A revitalised city centre with landmark cultural facilities including a music venue for CMK, a concert hall and dance/performance venue.  
  • Developing programmes that contribute to the health and wellbeing of local people, especially where it could reduce social isolation.

Some important projects for MK’s cultural development are already under way including MK Gallery’s expansion and City Club, and the new galleries at Milton Keynes Museum; as well as planned projects such as a new Cultural Quarter in the city centre, plans for the National Bowl, a major expansion of the City Discovery Centre which houses Milton Keynes archives and the refurbishment of Milton Keynes Arts Centre.

Anthony Spira, MK Gallery Director said: “MK Gallery welcomes being part a cultural strategy of such ambition and foresight. The new strategy shares the optimism and spirit of the city’s founders, which are so vital in realising the creative, social and educational potential of art, heritage and culture.”

Cllr Liz Gifford, Cabinet Member for Culture, said:  “This strategy is important for the city, not just because of its ambitions but because of the way businesses have joined the cultural sector in creating its priorities.

“It’s also testament to a city-wide commitment from public sector, cultural partners and private sector to develop and deliver a stronger and more inclusive cultural offer which we can all be proud of.”

More than 1,000 individual conversations have taken place to support the development of the strategy including The Arts and Heritage Alliance (with a membership of 39 cultural organisations) the Heritage MK Consortium, MK Music Hub, and the MK Heritage Association (with over 70 local groups). 

MK Council acts as the strategic lead for the creation of the strategy - with the aspiration being that partners will then take the lead - and it will be received by MK Council’s Cabinet on 6 March before it is then considered by the cultural sector on the 7 March at the Arts & Heritage Alliance forum.

The full strategy can be found at https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/leisure-tourism-and-culture/arts-and-heritage/ccs