Milton Keynes named a European City of Sport for 2020

Thursday 18 July 2019


ECOS final

Milton Keynes has been named a European City of Sport for 2020 by ACES Europe (the European Cities and Capitals of Sport Federation), joining previous winners including Coventry, Stoke, Florence and Nice.

ACES Europe is a non-profit association which champions the use of sport to improve people’s quality of life, physical and mental wellbeing.  Each year it awards a Capital and several Cities of Sport.

MK Council bid for the title in order to unlock more opportunities for investment into MK sports and physical activity, to support local people to live enjoyable, active and healthy lifestyles and share their personal stories. 

The bid explained how the Council will work closely with our local partners, businesses, national and international organisations to raise awareness of grassroots sport and activities, and bring more opportunity to the city where the need is greatest.

During 2020, a series of special events will be held, to celebrate local sport, and encourage community interaction through sport.  The bid also pointed out MK’s growing reputation for hosting elite sports, and identified how this award will enable the city to shine a spotlight on the UEFA Women’s EURO’s 2021 football tournament coming to the city at Stadium MK.

Delegates from ACES Europe visited MK for a whistle-stop tour of our sporting offer and engaged with some of our dedicated community volunteers. Visits included: MK Dons SET and Stadium MK, Red Bull Racing, and local clubs Springers Gymnastics, Olney Rugby Club and Marshall MK Athletics, before making their positive decision.

Last week Cllr Jenny Marklew, MK Council’s Cabinet Member for Sport revealed the news at MK’s National Table Tennis Day event at Ping Square, Great Linford local centre, as part of the local Ping project.  The event was attended by the Mayor, hosts of the table: the little ‘bookshop’, Sport MK and members of the Great Linford and Stantonbury community.

“We’re delighted to have been named European City of Sport for 2020,” said Cllr Marklew. 

“It recognises Milton Keynes’ sporting excellence, the great commitment of our local clubs and athletes, and our ambition to involve more people in sport and activity.”

"I’m delighted be welcoming Milton Keynes into our Europe wide network of sporting destinations as European City of Sport in 2020,” said Vice President of ACES Europe, John Swanson.

“This prestigious award has been made following submission of a comprehensive and high quality bid – the assessors were really impressed at the range and diversity of sport on offer across the city, and the ambition of the city in its plans for future development.

“This award will bring with it a wonderful year of celebration of sport in the city – not only will the award have far reaching benefits for the entire city, but designation as European City of Sport in 2020 will also provide the perfect platform to deliver sports activities available to all ages and communities.”

If you feel European City of Sport can benefit you and your organisation, email your ideas to leisure&

Click here to read the bid document in full.