Latest News Latest News /News/Latest-News Wed, 19 Sep 2018 02:11:49 +0000 Wed, 19 Sep 2018 02:11:49 +0000 Maaya crowned ‘best Indian restaurant’ in the South East of England On Monday 17 September, Maaya Indian Kitchen & Bar represented Milton Keynes at the 8th annual English Curry Awards 2018, held at the glamourous Copthorne Hotel, Dudley. The independent Indian restaurant, located in The Hub in Central Milton Keynes, had been shortlisted from hundreds of entries in the Most Wanted Restaurant of the Year category following a public vote, which then saw mystery dinners visit restaurants across the region. Out of 15 shortlisted restaurants, Maaya scooped the top prize and won, making it the ‘best Indian restaurant’ in the region, according to the prestigious English Curry Awards. The accolade makes Maaya, which opened in 2016, a multi-award winning restaurant, having received the LUX Best Indian Restaurant in Milton Keynes Award 2018 earlier this year and was awarded the highly acclaimed ‘Shortlisted’ award at the British Curry Awards in 2017. “We are absolutely delighted, it was a great evening attended by some of the finest restaurant owners from across the country. We were proud to be representing Milton Keynes as a shortlisted entry but to have won against such talented competition is a dream,” said Mo Abdul, manager and owner of Maaya. The English Curry Awards aims to recognise and reward the hard work, determination and dedication of those in the country’s booming curry industry. The lavish, black-tie awards ceremony included a drinks reception, four course meal and entertainment as well as the awards ceremony itself. The event was run by Oceanic Consulting, the UK’s leading ethnic consulting and promotions organisation in the UK, who have recently been shortlisted at the Asian Media Awards 2017 for their work in the Marketing & PR Sector, and are responsible for some of the most successful and well known events in the country such as The English Asian Business Awards and the British Muslim Awards amongst others. They are also responsible for putting on the Scottish Curry Awards which is now in its eleventh year as well as the recently launched London Curry Awards which took place in April and were a massive success. B2651C9921723AFDFD04ED61EC302A6B Tue, 18 Sep 2018 02:39:50 +0000 Skills and education is the theme for the 2019 MK Business Achievement Awards On Thursday 6 September the Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards (MKBAA) launched its sixth annual event, celebrating the success of businesses across our region. To be held on Thursday 14th March and organised by the Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership (MKBLP) in association with full service marketing agency Interdirect and event management experts Evolution Live, the 2019 Awards will focus on how education, training and skills development underpin the need for the Milton Keynes economy and Milton Keynes businesses to increase levels of productivity to allow for successful competition in a post Brexit world. The launch evening was kindly hosted by Milton Keynes College at the Business and Leadership Centre, Silbury. Guests included many local businesses, supporters, sponsors and previous winners and the 2019 categories, judges and sponsors were announced, with details on how to enter.  Guest speakers included Lucian Hudson of The Open University and MKBAA 2018 award winners Cheryl Brimson, COO at Aero Tec Laboratories and Theresa Pope, co-founder of Dandi Patch. Arena MK was revealed as the brand new location for the 2019 Awards, an exciting move to a spacious venue which can welcome a larger capacity for this increasingly popular fixture in the Milton Keynes business calendar. The Awards evening falls just two weeks before the UK formally leaves the European Union under the terms of exit agreed in Article 50.  Dr Philip Smith MBE, Chair of Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership explains: “This is an incredible moment in all our lives. For business the focus must be even more on growth through trade with countries from around the world. To trade well means we need to trade competitively which in turn means businesses need to invest more in the training of their people.” Established in 2014, the Awards recognise the achievements of a variety of Milton Keynes businesses across many different sizes and sectors. Within the 14 categories are new and exciting variations to previous awards including Best Training Scheme, Culture & Arts, Leisure & Entertainment and Technology Business. Popular broadcaster and voiceover artist Faye Carruthers was announced as the compere for MKBAA 2019. A journalist well known for her love of sport, travel, news and current affairs, Faye is also the voice of many big brands and narrates corporate videos, commercials and e-learning modules for blue-chip clients such as John Lewis, Sky, Amazon, Argos and Disney. The guest speaker for the evening will be Baroness Martha Lane-Fox, Chancellor of The Open University. This year see the return of The Open University, KPMG and Milton Keynes Council as the headline sponsors and they were thanked wholeheartedly for their continued support. In line with MKBLP’s pledge, a cheque for £7,500 raised from MKBAA 2018 was presented to Ian Revell, CEO of MK Community Foundation. This donation was made to the trust fund established by MKBLP and the MK Community Foundation which assists start-up businesses in deprived areas of the city. This support will continue in 2019 in line with the MKBAA steering group’s pledge to continue fostering the Milton Keynes business community. Entries are now open. To enter the MKBAA or to book a table at the awards ceremony please visit To find out more follow @MK_BAA on Twitter, Facebook and join the discussion on LinkedIn. 701348EB3B6B2574ACFAA8058063DC58 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 02:38:56 +0000 The Turing-Welchman Bombe attempts to break Enigma messages again In a live video link-up with Poland on 21 September 2018, the reconstructed Turing-Welchman Bombe at The National Museum of Computing on Bletchley Park will try to find the key of the day and break Enigma messages just as it did during the Second World War. Ruth Bourne, a wartime Bombe operator, will be present to verify the process as the TNMOC Bombe Team attempt to find the key to decrypt messages that will be sent from Poland throughout the day. The challenge is part of a live video link-up with the World Computer Congress in the Poznan Supercomputing Centre, Poland. At the conference, the audience will also hear papers relating to cryptography, the Bombe and Alan Turing from presenters including Sir Dermot Turing, Dr Marek Grajek and Dr Roger Johnson.  Anyone can watch and hear the live challenge to find the Enigma key and hear the presentations at Based on the work of Polish mathematicians who first broke Enigma before war began, Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman created the Bombe to automate the decryption process to reveal enemy Enigma messages about their current operations. For security reasons, the Enigma key for each network in the field was changed by the enemy every day (at about midnight). Bletchley Park cryptographers and operators would try to discover that key as quickly as possible so that the day’s messages could be deciphered and invaluable intelligence obtained. The complete process including the interception of the Enigma-encrypted Morse messages from across the world, transmission to Bletchley Park, the attempt to discover each day’s wheel settings and the production of the plain text of the decrypted messages will be demonstrated live. The working reconstructed Bombe can be seen almost daily at The National Museum of Computing on Bletchley Park. Thanks to private donors the Bombe moved to the Museum in spring 2018. Watch the live challenge from about 8.30 am on 21 September 2018 at C1FCFFD51EB7C38B7209A6106D66CC84 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 02:59:08 +0000 Kents Hill Park hosts Milton Keynes’ Landmark LGBTQ+ Conference This year, to educate and celebrate diversity in the workplace, global events management company Events Together are producing This Is Us.  This one-day conference will be held in Milton Keynes on 4th October 2018, and will tackle a number of key issues surrounding corporate diversity. The conference is being produced to offer practical tips and advice on the increasingly crucial issue of corporate diversity and inclusion.  It includes speakers such as leading trans role model Jacqui Gavin who, along with a raft of other speakers, will be presenting the issues through a series of talks and learning labs. The conference is being held at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Kents Hill Park is a dedicated training and conference centre set in a peaceful location on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, yet within easy access to key road, rail and airport networks. Meena Chander from Events Together said, “We’re really pleased to be hosting the event at Kents Hill – it’s such a robust space – it’s perfect for our event both in terms of the space itself and it’s proximity to the rest of the UK.   This Is Us is a national conference and we’re pulling delegates and speakers from across the UK – being so close to the motorway and transport links made this a perfect choice!” Sarah Glossop from Kents Hill Park said: “This is such a great cause that we’re delighted to support – we’re passionate about Milton Keynes and delivering first class conferences. It’s about time that a subject as important as this gets some real focus.” Jonathan Foot is Co-Chair of the LGBT & Allies Committee for venue owners, Compass Group UK & Ireland. He added: “This Is Us is integral to raising awareness around diversity and will help people come together to discuss potential solutions to the issues we face in the corporate world. We’re pleased to be able to host such a worthwhile event.”    Tickets for the conference are on sale now at where you can also find regularly updated information about speakers, conference content and news. DB4DB5EC58A9433419CB104EEAB915C2 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 03:52:12 +0000 Rod Stewart to play Milton Keynes Rod Stewart will play Stadium MK, Milton Keynes on Tuesday 4th June 2019. This is a fantastic opportunity to see Rod Stewart LIVE in a fully seated show. Tickets for the concert go on General Sale at 9am on Friday 21st September at or by calling 0844 844 0444. The best and quickest way of securing your tickets is online. All tickets are seated, and a full seating plan is available online at Ticketmaster. Tickets are priced from £55 each + booking fees. For further information visit: D7852CD2408D9D3205DC75B59A6CE22E Fri, 14 Sep 2018 08:54:30 +0000 Gravity Trampoline Park jumps into Xscape Milton Keynes We’ve been waiting with bated breath for the last few months but finally Gravity Trampoline Parks is preparing to open at Xscape, Milton Keynes on 15th September. Hot on the heels of its successful sister park located in Xscape Yorkshire, the Milton Keynes park looks set to deliver fun and fitness in a way that only Gravity knows how. So, what can you expect to find at the new park? The huge arena will feature brand new trampolines, reaction climbing walls, ‘Dodge Attack’ giving volleyball a whole new dynamic, ‘Ultimate Wipeout’ to test your speed and agility and the brand new ‘Gravity RACE’ three lane obstacle course. And if that’s not enough the Milton Keynes park will also feature ‘Gravity Rocks’ urban climbing walls - huge, irregular structures designed to pose ever-different, ever-more difficult challenges packed full of obstacles, twisty trials, inclines, turns, ups and overs – if you like a challenge, this is definitely for you. Feeding the competitive streak yet further, there’s a new attraction to get that friendly rivalry going. ‘Ball-Pit Long Jump’ offers a two-lane race. Simply choose your opponent, then hurtle down your lane and jump! All you have to do is jump the furthest or it becomes…THE LANE OF SHAME! The park will also offer; an open bounce area, slam dunk lanes, slack line, merchandise and party rooms. “We’re honing our knowledge and expertise to grow the Gravity brand to be able to deliver an improved offer each and every time a new park opens,” said Gravity Director, Michael Harrison. “Three words sums up the Gravity philosophy; ‘fun’, ‘fun’ and ‘fun’, and here at Milton Keynes we’ve added a fourth. We want everyone to enjoy every minute of their Gravity experience, from families, youngsters and toddlers to our corporate members. Fun and fitness is what it’s all about.” Keep up to date on what’s coming up at Xscape MK - visit or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 185AFE2AB60395B0FB41349AA1469A7F Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:35:35 +0000 intu Milton Keynes’ car park is ‘on track’ The full redevelopment of intu Milton Keynes’ multi-storey car park remains ‘on schedule for completion’, announced the centre’s general manager, following the opening of its top floor this week.   The phased car park improvements have seen half of level 2 and the entire level 3 (top floor) completed with work now in progress to finish level 2. The £2.8m project was put in place to create a much better overall experience, from the moment shoppers arrive to the time they leave.   Works include laying a completely new floor, better marked spaces, easier to follow wayfinding for cars and pedestrians, clearly marked walkways around the car park, a brighter look and feel – and, soon to be added, more electric vehicle bays – an extra 12 in total.   Throughout the substantial works, intu Milton Keynes has ensured the majority of the car park has remained open for the public to use as normal.   Now, due to be completed during November, in time for the excitement of Christmas, intu Milton Keynes’ new look car park will boast 738 spaces, incorporating accessible spaces, plenty of parent and toddler spaces, a car wash valet area, and nine Tesla spaces.   Nick Coppock, operations manager at intu Milton Keynes said: “We are delighted with the look of the completed sections of the car park and the difference it is making to our shopper experience already. The spaces are particularly wide, even the standard ones, and we have excellent parent and toddler spaces, which we know from our unique insight is important for people deciding where to park in the city centre.”   intu Milton Keynes’ car parking costs remain low at two hours of parking for just £2.50, much cheaper than other premium external pay and display spaces that charge £2 for one hour.   Nick adds: “The patience of our customers has been fantastic, and I would like to thank them wholeheartedly for their support and kind words. There are more exciting surprises to come which we will announce soon.” FCF059B3A04A642ECA4C21BD3FA5E9E3 Tue, 11 Sep 2018 02:37:32 +0000 War Horse gallops into Milton Keynes Theatre The multi award-winning War Horse will gallop into Milton Keynes Theatre from Wednesday 19th Spetember until Saturday 6th October. Thomas Dennis, fresh from playing Christopher Boone in the National Theatre’s West End production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will play the central role of Albert Narracott with fellow Curious cast member Jo Castleton as his mother Rose Narracott. Celebrated folk musician, Bob Fox, returns as Song Man. War Horse, which has been seen by over seven million people worldwide, completed its record-breaking eight year London run at the New London Theatre on 12 March 2016.  It has won 25 awards including the Tony Award for Best Play on Broadway.  Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, Nick Stafford’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s remarkable story of courage, loyalty and friendship, about a young boy called Albert and his horse Joey,  set against the backdrop of the First World War is the most successful play in the National Theatre’s history.  It features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing, galloping horses to live on stage. War Horse received its world premiere on 9 October 2007 at the National Theatre, where it played for two seasons before opening at the New London Theatre in March 2009.  Since then, War Horse has been seen in 97 cities in 10 countries, including productions on Broadway, in Toronto and Berlin, with touring productions in the UK and Ireland, North America, the Netherlands, Belgium and China. Michael Morpurgo said:  ‘After a few months rest, out at pasture, Joey, the War Horse and his great team from the National Theatre, will be touring the UK again, from 2017 through to 2019 and the centenary of the end of the First World War, taking their show all over the country, to towns and cities, many of them places War Horse has not been seen before.  I am so pleased this is happening; that so many more people will have the chance to enjoy this unique theatrical event. Steady boy, steady Joey. Trot on!' The tour of War Horse coincides with the Centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War and follows the production’s sold-out tour of the UK and Ireland in 2013-2014. War Horse is produced on tour by the National Theatre. LISTINGS: Performances: Wed 19 Sep 2018 – Sat 06 Oct - 2018                             Mon - Sat eves 7.30pm, Wed & Sat Mats 2.30pm Prices: Tickets from £19.50 (£22.40 online/phone) Box Office: 0844 871 7652* Groups Hotline: 01908 547609 Access Booking: 0844 871 7677* Online Booking:* *Fees apply. Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge. 354680832FCEA7E2B7057A5AC2C489F8 Mon, 10 Sep 2018 02:33:03 +0000 Explore a cultural Milton Keynes this September Explore Milton Keynes in a whole new way this month, with heritage tours, an alternative visitors guide,  redways parade, bicycle ballet and more. 6-9 and 13- 16 September Heritage Open Days are back, and this year organisations and venues are opening their doors and holding events across not one, but two, weekends.  This year, Heritage Open Days are celebrating Extraordinary Women with a ‘Votes for Women’ exhibition and ‘She got the vote: Stories of Bucks women who were first able to vote in 1918’ at MK Central Library. There will also be ‘access all areas’ tours of buildings around MK, free admission to museums, talks, walks and more. View the brochure online here: 14 – 16 September Groundwork Weekender is a free celebration of MK’s heritage, landscape, people and sounds, curated by Tracing the Pathway.  The three-day programme, interlaces performances, walks, exhibitions, talks, films and, the premier of 11 unique artist projects. Find out more here: 14 September Come along for the book launch and reading tour of ‘The MK Myth’ by Phil Smith. An alternative visitor guide with a story that takes the reader on a walk through Milton Keynes as it follows ‘K’, the main character, on her journey through the city, discovering its heritage and hidden wonders. Find out more here: 15 September The Festival of curves, detours and slopes celebrates the launch of the new Redway A-B guide by Hayley Newman, with a special performative tour of MK’s redways. In this alternative tour, which starts and ends at Willen Lake, learn how to read the redways, experience the ups and downs of winding around roads and take part in a parade. Find out more here: 16 September The highly anticipated Blazing Saddles is an outdoor performance celebrating women, cycling and fashion, looking at how in the 1890s, when bicycles first became widely available, this marked a step forward for women. Find out more here: 21 – 24 September Following the success of last year, the MK Lit Fest is back. Meet famous authors, with the likes of Mark Haddon, Lemn Sissay, Stella Duffy, Hollie McNish and Sarfraz Manzoor, new authors, and take part in writing workshops. There will also be free tickets to selected events for 16 – 25 year olds thanks to an MK Community Foundation grant.  Find out more here: Photo credit : Shaun Armstrong 0365AAECAE1F149351D36FB06A31828F Wed, 05 Sep 2018 12:46:27 +0000 Pop-up reading room takes a leaf out of equestrian centre’s book The Ride High Equestrian Centre will start a new chapter this week as it opens its doors to a novel audience of Milton Keynes’ finest bookworms for National Read A Book Day 2018. Set in 37 acres of countryside in Loughton, in the heart of Milton Keynes, the centre will launch the first of its series of pop-up ‘You and a Book’ sessions this Thursday 6 September. Sessions give avid readers the opportunity of a quiet space to read without being disturbed by mobile phones, noisy business meetings or general chatter. You and a Book is the brainchild of local life coach Clare Wildman, who grew her idea for pop-up reading rooms in the Entrepreneurial Spark Hub in Milton Keynes, launching the first trial event back in January 2018. “I’ve been a bookworm as long as I can remember but I was finding it increasingly difficult to find a spot where I could have a drink with a bit of cake and still have peace to read,” said Clare. “Sometimes you just need quiet to help you disappear into a good book. The Ride High Equestrian Centre will be our fifth venue, and I’m delighted that they’ve chosen to open up their garden to our readers with the first session launching on National Read A Book Day 2018.” Joanna Fay, Managing Director of the Ride High Equestrian Centre, said: “We’re always looking for new and diverse ways of using the space that we have here at the centre, and when Clare approached us to host the first outdoor session for You and a Book we couldn’t think of anywhere more peaceful and relaxing to sit and read than our garden. This secluded spot is perfect for those looking to get away from it all for an hour of peace and quiet, although they may hear the odd ‘clip clop’ of a pony’s hooves now and again!” The pop-up reading rooms open when the venue is particularly quiet or closed, and readers can bring along anything they want to read, whether it’s a paperback, Kindle book, newspaper or magazine. For those worried about the great British weather there is a shelter in the garden, or for when it gets particularly cold readers can be sure of a warm welcome in the centre’s meeting room. The sessions run every Thursday 12noon – 1pm and cost £5 which includes a hot or cold drink and biscuits or cake. Readers first sessions are free. For more details and to find out about other events at the centre, visit 86E33D550DC162366A02003089AB9894 Wed, 05 Sep 2018 02:38:57 +0000 5th Birthday celebrations with added sparkle at The Casino MK The Casino MK, located within the Xscape complex, is celebrating it’s fifth birthday in style this September by giving away over £50,000 worth of diamond jewellery in their free to enter prize draws. As the venue reaches this important milestone of being part of the Milton Keynes entertainment scene since 2103, they wanted to mark the occasion with a very special giveaway. They have eights sets of exclusive Tada & Toy diamond jewellery each valued at £6,650, one of which will be given away every Friday and Saturday night during September. Customers can collect free daily entry tickets* by visiting the casino, then simply bring all their entry tickets back on the draw nights and place them in the drum. One winner will be picked each night at 9pm. Winners must be in the casino at the time of the draw. General Manager, Nigel Hartland, commented “Turning five years old is a big deal for us and we really wanted to give our customers something to get excited about and give our celebrations some added sparkle, and let’s face it who doesn’t love diamonds? They could be your best friend this September!” To find out more about The Casino MK, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, go to, like Aspers Casino on Facebook or follow @TheCasinoMK on Twitter. *Customers must be Aspers World members. The Aspers World loyalty scheme is free to join. Simply bring along photo ID. E4BA31FBA036A999321D5460F7F2D1D1 Tue, 04 Sep 2018 02:18:24 +0000 Blackadder Goes Forth – The Final Push The Milton Keynes Theatre of Comedy (MKTOC) returns Stantonbury Theatre to the trenches of World War 1 for the second and final time this September.  Watch as Captain Edmund Blackadder prepares for the final push in the final 3 stories of this iconic comedy. Private Plane:  Despite Blackadder’s loathing of the arrogant flying ace Lord Flashheart, Blackadder, Baldrick and George volunteer to join the Royal Flying Corps unaware that their nickname the “Twenty Minuters” refers to their average life expectancy. After Blackadder and Baldrick crash their plane behind enemy lines, they are captured by the Germans and must prepare for a fate worse than death… General Hospital:  A game of “I Spy” goes terribly wrong when a bomb strikes Blackadder’s bunker and injures George, leaving him in the care of the kindly Nurse Mary at the field hospital. After Melchett and Darling inform Blackadder that there is a German spy in the hospital giving away their battle plans, Blackadder and Darling are sent undercover. Goodbyeee: Millions have died but the troops have advanced no further than “an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping”. Now, at last, the ‘final’ big push looms, and Blackadder is willing to try anything to avoid it. Will putting a pair of underpants on his head and shoving two pencils up his nose get Blackadder invalided back to Blighty? This production follows MKTOC’s much loved earlier plays of the first three episodes of Blackadder Goes Forth in 2017 and the The Vicar of Dibley earlier this year. Written by Ben Elton and Richard Curtis. Presented by kind permission of Tiger Aspect Productions. Tuesday 18 Sept all Tickets £13.  Wed 19 - Friday 21 Sept -Tickets £15 concessions £13. Saturday 22 Sept – All tickets £15. All can be purchased on-line from: 0D9D154FB5B905D3F6D606F8B6CBB750 Tue, 04 Sep 2018 02:38:07 +0000 Remember, Remember… It’s Cycle September! Cycle September is here! To encourage cyclists-to-be, and to reward those who already cycle to work, MK Council have teamed up with Love to Ride to run a fun, free competition throughout the whole of September. There will be lots of prizes up for grabs including bikes, accessories, and even a holiday to the Grand Canyon and New Zealand. Cycle September is completely free for everyone who lives or works in Milton Keynes. Everyone is invited to join in; it doesn’t matter if you ride every day or if you haven’t been on a bike in years. It’s all about giving it a go. It only takes 30 seconds to register at To help you on your way, you can easily plan your cycling route at  Miles can be logged to compete on local, national and global leader boards in seven categories. Workplaces with the highest percentage of staff riding a bike in September will win their category – and each cyclist will be eligible for prizes for riding and encouraging others. To enter the draw, you just need to register on the Love to Ride website and enter your rides manually or by linking a cycling app (Ride Report, Strava, MapMyRide or Endomondo). The Love to Ride website helps members to set themselves goals, track their mileage, earn badges, share photos and encourage others to ride, as well as allowing workplaces to incentivise their staff to cycle to work. C4DC035D67BC669546C560622AC4BDD4 Fri, 31 Aug 2018 12:56:39 +0000 360 Play Milton Keynes celebrates 10th Birthday Milton Keynes family entertainment centre 360 Play is 10 years old in 2018 and to mark a decade of family fun is inviting visitors to join in a host of special activities and events during September. 360 Play MK opened its doors back in 2008 and was the first of six – soon to be seven – 360 Play venues around the UK. To commemorate this year’s special milestone, the centre at Knowlhill will be hosting a variety of special celebrations throughout the month, as well as offering some great giveaways. Activities will include a Twizzle and Twirl talent contest, commemorative stone painting and the creation of time capsules in the 360 Play messy play area. A decade seems to go by so quickly and it will be a great opportunity to preserve a moment in time to look back on. Guests can contribute whatever they like from 2008 to 2018 for future reminiscing – be it a photo, a drawing, letter, a toy or anything else. All visitors need to do is bring the item to the centre during the month of September and hand to a member of staff to place in the capsule. All the usual play activities to be found at 360 Play will, of course, also be available so the additional events taking place will provide even more entertainment for youngsters during what will be a very special September this year. All of the bonanza celebrations are included in the normal entry fee! From soft play, slides, climbing elements, dodgem cars and the carousel, to the popular 360 Street creative play area, there’s something for everyone to enjoy – including adults who can join in all the fun on the attractions and facilities. Visitors can follow the 360 Play Facebook page to stay up to date with what’s coming up and for a chance to win some prizes too with some fascinating competitions! For more information on 360 Play visit CAA0BD048DD3104968CBE5082662AF42 Wed, 29 Aug 2018 03:33:28 +0000 Ping Pong Parlour serving up family fun at intu Milton Keynes Shoppers at intu Milton Keynes in central MK will now be able to take a break from shopping and enjoy playing some free table tennis as the centre opens a pop-up Ping Pong Parlour. The parlour can be found opposite Oasis and will be open during normal shopping hours.  Everyone is welcome to drop in to play on one of the two table tennis tables in the parlour, which promises to be an exciting attraction for visitors. Ping Pong Parlours have already opened in 27 other shopping centres nationwide and form part of Table Tennis England's vision to inspire people to get active and lead happier, healthier lifestyles by introducing table tennis into unexpected, non-traditional places. Keely Armitt the Head of Participation at Table Tennis England said: "We're delighted to be working with intu Milton Keynes to open the Ping Pong Parlour.  We know the table which has been in Oak Court for a number of years has always been really popular and so we're sure the Parlour will be very well received by visitors.  Ping Pong Parlours are aimed at everyone - irrespective or age, ability or gender, especially those who wouldn't normally consider going out to play a sport, by reaching them in a place they already spend time.  The Parlours are available to pop into and play; completely free and without having to book." Shelley Peppard, general manager at intu Milton Keynes said: "The team at Table Tennis England has been fantastic to work with and we're delighted to be able to work together to bring this great offering to our customers and put a smile on their face." To find out more about Ping Pong Parlours please visit: To find out more about intu Milton Keynes please visit: FF47AFC1BC40F685B0982F6B0E40248B Tue, 28 Aug 2018 06:10:17 +0000 Maaya joins national ‘Use Our Loos’ campaign This month, a national campaign was launched by the British Toilet Association to ask restaurants, pubs, bars and local businesses to welcome the public to freely use their toilet facilities. Milton Keynes has been named as one of a few places in the UK that doesn’t have a single free public toilet, making the need for local business participation even greater. Maaya Indian Kitchen & Bar in The Hub has become the first business in Milton Keynes and one of the first in the UK to sign up to the campaign and display its sticker. “We’re an independent business in central Milton Keynes and the community is at the heart of everything we do,” says Manager and Joint Owner, Mo Abdul. He added: “Going to the toilet is a human right and we have never refused anyone away for wanting to use our facilities, and now, thanks to this campaign, we can activity tell people outside that they are welcome in anytime.” Over the past two decades the number of public toilets in the UK has slumped by more than a third (39%), according to responses to freedom of information requests, as local councils’ increasingly squeezed budgets lead to mass closures. The total has fallen from 3,955 in 2000 to 2,414 this year, according to data submitted to the British Toilet Association (BTA) by 266 councils in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In England alone, the average council runs only 15 public toilets, with each having to serve an average of more than 12,500 people. The BTA’s new “Use Our Loos” campaign is urging businesses to make their toilets available to non-customers. “We know councils are under immense pressure with their budgets and despite having no legal obligation to maintain these public facilities they have continued to try to halt the rapid rate of decline,” said Raymond Martin, director of the BTA. “Use our Loos is a community-oriented solution not about opening more public toilets but making more toilets public that already exist.” Each participating outlet will be encouraged to have a sticker on display so the public can easily spot a business happy for people to use its toilets without necessarily being a customer. The scheme is similar to a model encouraging businesses to offer free water refills to non-customers. The Refill campaign aims to break the stigma around asking for water for free even if customers have not purchased anything else. People can find their nearest toilet using this website: 0DCE20892F775D8953C42E4A49978E38 Tue, 28 Aug 2018 06:13:42 +0000 The holiday destination of your dreams is closer than you think Julie Mills, CEO of MK College, gives us some food for thought when it comes to the perfect holiday destination... I have a travel quiz for you. Where would you have to go on holiday to see or do the following? A troupe of Moroccan acrobats Musical performances from diverse artists including Evelyn Glennie, Newton Faulkner, Paul Young and Eliza Carthy Live like a Georgian for a Day Visit one of the world’s most famous wartime intelligence centres Take a 26 mile walk through stunning parkland and green space, along canals and around lakes, in the heart of the city but never having to cross a road The answer is not Barcelona and nor is it Los Angeles or Sydney, although all three would be delighted to put on such crowd-pulling events.  The currency is the pound sterling and the locals all speak remarkably good English.  What’s more the weather is quite spectacular at the moment and the city is surrounded by beautiful countryside and has excellent transport links.  Yes, it’s Milton Keynes, that stand-out tourist destination where there’s something for everyone.  Whether it’s the International Festival, the MK Proms, The Stables, Bletchley Park, The Parks Trust or the Cowper and Newman Museum, skiing, dancing, sailing or just sunning yourself, the city really does appear to have everything one would expect from a classically sunshiny, overseas, holiday destination. Another thing which might come as a surprise is that the official figures show that more than seven million people a year visit the city contributing around £340 million to the local economy and that 11,000 jobs depend upon tourism. The relative weakness of the pound following the Brexit referendum two years ago (is it really that long?) has made UK holidays or staycations more attractive in terms of value and if that trend continues as many predict it may, the numbers are only likely to go up. A lot of people might say that holidaying in your own city is a bit of a dull prospect because they’ve already seen everything it has to offer.  But, I would challenge any reader of this article to say they’d seen all of the attractions listed above, here or anywhere else.  The fact is there are always places in and around your home city that you’ve heard about but never quite got round to visiting.  And of course, you can also feel terribly green by holidaying at home.  All that pollution from driving or sailing or, worst of all flying, will be avoided and you can feel noble and public-spirited for avoiding such wickedness.  The accommodation’s cheaper, getting around is so much less complicated and the staycationer can always impress their fellow travellers with their local knowledge including all the best places to eat.  It makes you wonder why anyone ever goes anywhere else really… Thanks Julie...we couldn't agree more! #LoveMK F4EC6380C50A68A7C35D109BEC48AEBF Fri, 17 Aug 2018 02:16:34 +0000 Horses to provide a completely new way to engage staff in Milton Keynes The Ride High Equestrian Centre is putting a new spin on traditional team building and employee engagement activities with the launch of its corporate programmes, a first for Milton Keynes as horses are used to provide unique insights into behaviours and management styles. Set in 37 acres of countryside in Loughton, in the heart of Milton Keynes, the centre will be introducing three new training and wellbeing programmes for companies; Leadership and Team Dynamics, Wellbeing and Engagement, and CSR Days with meeting facilities. The programmes aim to help businesses and employees improve leadership skills, get teams working together, increase employee engagement and wellbeing, and offer opportunities for important CSR projects at the centre. These expert led activities are based around the principles of Equine Assisted Learning. This innovative and impactful way of learning has been proven over 16 years, with the use of horses providing uniquely memorable experiences and creating a lasting impact. During the programmes staff will explore team dynamics, increase self-awareness and understand the power and impact of non-verbal communication. Persuading a horse to follow someone with no rope or rein provides powerful insights into different communication methods and styles, insight which can be taken back into the working environment. Bankie Williams, Chairman of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, was one of the first to try the new programmes. He said: “The interaction of horse and business leader was a real eye opener, creating insights and some profound challenges to conventional wisdoms and paradigms about the nature, art and science of leadership”. Joanna Fay, Managing Director of the Ride High Equestrian Centre, said: “Horses are highly sensitive, intuitive creatures. They provide immediate, unique and compelling insights into the ways we behave and how this affects others. We can provide courses tailor-made for each business, combining experiential learning with horses alongside lecture room workshops to create action plans which staff can then take back into the business.” The corporate services programmes can be booked any time throughout the year, with pre-designed and bespoke options available. Enquiries can be made at the Ride High Equestrian Centre Reception or by email to For more details and prices, visit E5E2DE7F3EF2043B664C121BD22F853C Tue, 07 Aug 2018 04:47:48 +0000 The Parks Trust recognised as one of the UK’s very best green spaces Self-financing charity The Parks Trust has received a prestigious Green Flag Award for the second year in a row. This was awarded for all of the parks, woodlands and lakes the Trust manages and maintains across Milton Keynes. The Parks Trust continues to be the only recipient of the award for a complete network of parks across a whole town or city. This international award, now into its third decade, is confirmation that The Parks Trust’s green spaces across the city are of the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities. David Foster, Chief Executive of The Parks Trust, commented: “We are very proud to have received the Green Flag Award for the second year in a row. Milton Keynes is increasingly renowned for the high-quality parkland across the city and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining the green space to such a good standard for everyone to enjoy.” International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme, with more Green Flags awarded this year than last year.”  “Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to enjoy, and hope that next year, we award even more flags.” For more information about The Parks Trust please visit E43A09FFC30B44CB1F0DB46F87836F40 Thu, 02 Aug 2018 01:51:12 +0000 Public art to remember the Midsummer Oak A sculpture made from the Midsummer Place Oak tree will be revealed in Central Milton Keynes for the public to enjoy this autumn. intu Milton Keynes, in partnership with Milton Keynes Council, has commissioned an internationally-respected artist to create a stunning piece of art from the original oak wood that will be installed in the city centre for all to enjoy for years to come. Richard Bray was chosen over two other shortlisted artists for his 'social engagement' design concept that will see the wood take the form of 'new' tree. A spiralling wooden sculpture will stand over five and half metres tall and include a horizontal branch to hold a swing for children to play on. Simply titled 'Midsummer Oak', it will be located in the outdoor area between Hollister and Gap, and is anticipated to be installed by the autumn, when the second part of the project will commence. Richard will hold a series of workshops with the public and schools to invite them to share their ideas on what could be carved into the wood - from fairies to faces, insects to words. Currently, Richard is taking residence at the Milton Keynes Museum where work on the tree is taking place. He said: "It's been a privilege to be able to rescue this tree as a public sculpture and I've been collecting people's memories of it at the museum. I'm looking forward to working with the schools during the autumn once the initial carving and assembly is complete and developing the sculpture as a place of imagination and play." In 2015, when the Oak tree was confirmed to have died, intu Milton Keynes asked the public what they would like to happen to the oak to ensure its legacy remained part of the centre. Ideas included, 'a bench', 'a bandstand' and 'a piece of art'. "A sculpture made from the original wood seemed the most respectful and significant option that everyone could enjoy," said Shelley Peppard, general manager at intu Milton Keynes. She added: "We have ensured that the community is big part of each step we have made to ensure this meaningful tree is remembered for future generations." Midsummer Place shopping centre was purchased by intu Milton Keynes in 2013 and, at this time, the damage to the Oak was irreversible despite many efforts to save it. Since then, intu has worked with The Parks Trust on a tree adoption programme that saw the Oak's saplings, grown from the Oak's acorns, planted near local schools to study. With the ongoing support of The Parks Trust, the following six schools each have an oak tree planted near them: Falconhurst School, Eaglestone; Giles Brook Primary, Tattenhoe; St Mary and St Giles Junior, Stony Stratford; New Bradwell School; Olney Middle School and Olney Infant School. Richard Bray will be sending updates on the progress of the project, which will be posted on the intu Milton Keynes website at Further details of the workshops will be announced in the coming months. 38D6CBC90E0D7B451F50D9019B8BCFA7 Thu, 02 Aug 2018 02:16:44 +0000 Shane Richie officially launches panto season as Robin Hood come to MK Theatre Sherwood Forest’s notorious outlaw Robin Hood made his appearance at Milton Keynes Theatre for a spot of target practice ahead of this year’s arrow-shooting panto spectacular, Robin Hood. Television, recording, musical theatre and pantomime star Shane Richie will lead the cast in this year’s family pantomime, Robin Hood from Saturday 8 December – Sunday 13 January. Swapping the Queen Vic for Sherwood Forest and starring as the heroic outlaw Robin Hood, Shane says: ‘Panto is a great theatrical experience and it’s nothing like you’ll ever see again. Robin is the romantic lead, a loveable rogue. He’s a bit of a loser, a bit of a winner. And the great part about doing this is that it’s different every show! ‘I said I wasn’t going to do panto for a while but then Milton Keynes said: “Come on! Bring Robin Hood to us!” I said: “OK, Milton Keynes, I’ll do it. I’ll do three weeks.” “Do Five!” they shouted. “Alright” I shouted back, “I’ll do five weeks for ya ‘cos I love ya!’ Having established himself as one of the nation’s favourite soap stars, Shane has won numerous awards and millions of fans for his portrayal of Albert Square’s loveable landlord Alfie Moon in EastEnders. Most recently Shane released his critically-acclaimed album A Country Soul, an album inspired by his musical heroes and contemporary country sounds. Shane’s numerous television credits also include Oliver Twist, Skins, New Tricks, Minder and What We Did on Our Holidays. In addition to acting, Shane has also hosted a number of high-profile game shows including the primetime lottery quiz Win Your Wish List and Decimate. Most recently Shane starred in Making Dad’s Army for the BBC and Benidorm for ITV1 and Redwater alongside his EastEnders co-star Jessie Wallace, a six-part drama series based on their soap alter ego’s lives. On stage, Shane has starred in a number of hugely successful productions including Danny Zuko in the West End production of Grease, which broke all box office records, Boogie Nights, which he co-wrote and co-produced on tour and in the West End, toured the UK in Peter James’ A Perfect Murder and Not Dead Enough and regularly stars in pantomime for Robin Hood producers Qdos Entertainment. Audiences will join the most heroic outlaw of them all as the arrow-shooting hero Robin Hood strives to win the hand of the beautiful Maid Marion while he and his trusty band of Merry Men outwit the evil Sheriff of Nottingham in a show full of action, adventure, music, laughter and audience participation. Robin Hood will once again be produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer continuing their partnership with Milton Keynes Theatre, following the success of last year’s spectacular production of Cinderella which starred Brian Conley and Gok Wan. Grab your merry men and women and don’t miss the ultimate sheriff-busting, arrow-shooting, tights-wearing, hog-roasting pantomime extravaganza! LISTINGS Performances: Sat 8 Dec 2018 – Sun 13 Jan 2019 (times vary, contact Box Office for info) Tickets: From £14* Box Office: 0844 871 7652* Groups Hotline: 0333 0095 939 Access Booking: 0800 912 697* Online Booking: ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes            *A transaction fee applies. Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge. BCAD7B839E99D2542617D19206B9540A Wed, 01 Aug 2018 01:55:58 +0000 New autumn season announced at Milton Keynes Theatre There’s plenty of excitement ahead at Milton Keynes Theatre. With critically acclaimed drama, rib-tickling comedy, and musical offerings you’d be mad to miss out! Kicking off the new season, the Creative Learning department at Milton Keynes Theatre have partnered with Vivo D’arte to bring this year’s Stage Experience production of Little Shop of Horrors. A local cast, aged 10 – 25, will be turning Milton Keynes into Skid Row, bringing the frightening floristry to life! In the Autumn English National Ballet present a passionate retelling of Kenneth MacMillan’s masterpiece Manon, and Glyndebourne, bring La Traviata and Cendrillon (Cinderella). There’s the stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning film Rain Man, starring Matthew Horne (Gavin & Stacey) and Ed Speelers (Downton Abbey), or if you’d rather be swept up in the swinging 60’s with one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers, Cilla – The Musical returns. Alternatively find yourself rolling in the aisles when ITV’s award-winning comedy Benidorm brings the Spanish sunshine to the stage, and Mischief Theatre present their smash-and-grab hit The Comedy About A Bank Robbery – it would be criminal to miss it! The National Theatre also continues to provide audiences with world-class entertainment, presenting the sensational wartime epic, War Horse. Additionally there is a superb line-up of special one-night events. Prepare to laugh out loud with some of the biggest names in comedy, from Joe Lycett and Dara O’Briain, to Jason Manford. There’s also a variety of music from the likes of Jane McDonald, Caro Emerald, The ELO Experience, and A Vision of Elvis. It will soon be that time of year… Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is! Shane Richie will lead the cast in this year’s spectacular family pantomime, Robin Hood. This will be the ultimate sheriff-busting, arrow-shooting, tights-wearing, pantomime extravaganza ever to come to Milton Keynes Theatre! Further family fun can be found with added ‘sparkle and shine’ from brand-new musical Nativity! The Musical, based on the smash-hit film series, bringing the feel-good festivities to the holiday season. Looking ahead to 2019, the theatrics continue with already announced musicals including, The Rocky Horror Show, The Band, The Bodyguard, and the acclaimed production of Les Misérables – people are already storming the barricade for a ticket! Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake returns with a fresh take for the 21st Century, and a thrilling adaptation of best-selling novel The Girl on the Train also takes to the stage. There’s plenty of excitement on the horizon at Milton Keynes Theatre. 9E197158C200EBAACA22DD182B6F2A1C Mon, 30 Jul 2018 01:58:47 +0000 Maaya Indian Kitchen has been shortlisted for the ‘curry Oscars’ Maaya Indian Kitchen & Bar in The Hub received a letter from the British Curry Awards announcing that it has been shortlisted. The independent restaurant will represent Milton Keynes as it competes for the title of the best Indian restaurant in the South East. The awards will be held on Monday 27 November at the glamourous Battersea Evolution, and will be attended by over 1,600 restauranteurs, celebrities and royalty and will be broadcast live in over 200 countries. This is the second year Maaya has been shortlisted for the most prestigious Indian restaurant awards in the UK. Maaya, which opened earlier this year in The Hub, was shortlisted for the best Newcomer award last year and made it to the final 14 from the 230,000 overall entries. “We are incredibly excited to have received this letter. The nomination for the British Curry Awards is directly from the public, which is very special and then we submit all our details to the organisers for consideration to be shortlisted. We will keep our fingers crossed and look forward to attending the event in November", said Owner and Restaurant Manager, Mo Abdul. A0A40B610AFC7E41298F3EBD55C60DED Thu, 26 Oct 2017 12:29:08 +0000 DMK Chair receives honorary doctorate from the Open University This week one of the most recognisable and respected people in Milton Keynes received an honorary doctorate from one of the most prestigious organisations in the city, The Open University. Hailing originally from Moss Side in Manchester, Dr Ann Limb has worked in the education sector for over 35 years and in 1987, at the age of just 34, Ann became Principal and Chief Executive of Milton Keynes College – setting the record for the youngest FE College Principal ever appointed. In 2000, she became Chief Executive of the University for Industry, where she established the online platform Learndirect and in that role, she also oversaw the development of UK online and Directgov. From 2004 to 2010 she worked as Senior Vice President at Citizen Service Transformation. Her wise counsel has been sought by the current and previous governments and she has advised all the major political parties on education and skills policy and public service delivery. Ann used her passion and experience to found the Helena Kennedy Foundation in 1998, which supports disadvantaged learners, often with few formal qualifications and significant barriers, to move from FE into university. She also chairs the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) ensuring that businesses across the region are working together to promote economic growth, job creation and skills. Two years ago Ann became the first woman ever to chair the Scout Association, the largest mixed volunteer-led movement in the UK. Amongst many positions she holds, Ann is Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Buckinghamshire, and is Chair of Destination Milton Keynes, and the Milton Keynes Major Events Board, which is leading the city’s bid for European Capital of Culture 2023. She has been honoured many times for her contribution to education, business and public services, receiving an OBE in 2011 and then a CBE in 2015. Ann commented on the day, “I’m thrilled to be awarded a doctorate from the Open University as I have upheld the values of openness and access to opportunity for all throughout my professional life. It is a huge honour to be formally recognised by a unique, globally renowned university headquartered in the amazing city of Milton Keynes where I have lived and worked for over 30 years.” E8CBA4B42D85228F7228C917E4C686C2 Wed, 11 Oct 2017 04:26:47 +0000