New Chair for Milton Keynes Development Partnership Board

Monday 2 March 2020


Milton Keynes Council is pleased to announce that the Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP) has appointed a new Independent Chair to its Board, Nicola Sawford – a portfolio non-executive director with over 30 years of senior business experience across professional services, technology, retail, media, financial services, regulation and charities.

MKDP is the entrepreneurial land and property company owned by MK Council that ensures council land is developed in the most socially and financially beneficial way, and that Milton Keynes grows as an ambitious and influential city of the future. 

MKDP works with investors to create residential, commercial and cultural spaces to meet the needs set out in Council plans.  This year, it’s expected to take on an expanded role to deliver 2,000 truly affordable homes for local families by 2023.

Nicola Sawford joined the board of Chelmer Housing Partnership (a housing association with a turnover of £65M and over 10,000 homes under its management) in 2017 and was appointed its chair in 2018.

A qualified chartered accountant, Nicola is also a board member of the Bar Standards Board, trustee of the charities Changing Faces and The Access to Justice Foundation, a member of the Managing Partners Forum advisory board and an advisor to Legl.

In her executive career, Nicola spent twelve years as Chief Executive at Serle Court, a leading barristers’ chambers, driving significant growth. Prior to this, having completed her training at Price Waterhouse, she worked in a variety of financial, commercial and analytical roles at BhS, the BBC, The Stock Exchange, BrokerTec, Vesta and Affinity Internet Holdings.

Nicola will take over as Independent Chair from Interim Independent Chair Bernadette Conroy in April.  The role’s appointment panel included the Council’s Chief Executive and councillors from each of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties.  The appointment is subject to ratification at Cabinet on 10 March.

Michael Bracey, MK Council’s Chief Executive said:  “We’re delighted that Nicola will join MKDP as its new chair.  She offers MKDP invaluable experience, and is enthusiastic about seeing the interests and needs of local people reflected in MK’s growth ambitions.”

Nicola Sawford
Nicola Sawford