Latest News Latest News /News/Latest-News Tue, 19 Jun 2018 01:46:17 +0000 Tue, 19 Jun 2018 01:46:17 +0000 Open Air Theatre for the whole family The Parks Trust, the self-financing charity that organises and enables over 500 events and activities in its parks each year, is delighted to welcome Quantum Theatre to Campbell Park (Canalside) on Sunday 1st July 2018 for an outstanding performance of The Reluctant Dragon. From the author of The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame, The Reluctant Dragon is a funny, touching and enchanting story of bravery, friendship and heroism. In this beloved classic story, a young boy befriends a poetry-loving dragon living in the Downs above his home. When the town-folk send for St. George to slay the dragon, the boy needs to come up with a clever plan to save his friend and convince the townsfolk to accept him. This open air theatre performance will be fun for all the family; tickets are on sale now at £13 an adult, £8 a child and a great family offer of £30 (this ticket can be bought by groups with one adult with three children or two adults and two children). Gates open at 3pm, with the show starting at 4pm. This highly anticipated performance of The Reluctant Dragon presents the ideal opportunity for a great family day out; visitors should bring along picnics, blankets, seating and warm clothing. Parking is available at car parks along Silbury Boulevard. Julie Dawes, Events & Community Engagement Manager for The Parks Trust, commented: “We’re really looking forward to Quantum Theatre coming to Milton Keynes. Our varied events programme offers something for everyone, whatever their age, interest or ability. This will be the first time Quantum Theatre has performed as part of The Parks Trust event programme and we are thrilled they’ll be engaging with the local community in Milton Keynes”. To book tickets or for more information call The Parks Trust on 01908 255379 or visit 46F6341CE05F71416CDDC3E42A76102C Fri, 15 Jun 2018 04:23:55 +0000 centremk wins Best Baby Changing Room of the Year centre:mk, one of the top ten shopping destinations in the UK, has just been awarded the Sudocrem Changing Room Award for the ‘Best Baby Changing Room in the UK’, as voted for by members of the public. The award comes one year after the shopping centre unveiled its new parent and baby changing facilities along with state of the art toilets forming the ‘Deer Walk refurbishment project’. The project, which received significant investment of over £5 million was called a ‘thoughtfully-designed and well-decorated area for parents to change their babies’ by Britain’s leading nappy cream brand; Sudocrem, who facilitate the awards. Five years after launching the first Baby Changing Room Awards and sponsoring the National Childbirth Trust Baby Change App, Sudocrem has been leading the way in promoting the best baby changing facilities in the country. Having reviewed the facilities at centre:mk (which include a play area) they saw that the centre has recognised a need for parents and children to have a changing space which they look forward to using. Heidi Suter, Guest Services Manager for centre:mk said “It is fantastic news that we have won the award for the Best Baby Changing Room and the fact that we were nominated by our customers is incredible. We have put a lot of thought into how the changing facilities were designed and to have this recognised is great!” 786FC80896B25422B5324CB6E57B701C Wed, 13 Jun 2018 01:55:35 +0000 360 Play hits new heights with Gold Award from RoSPA 360 Play Milton Keynes is celebrating once again after receiving a top award for the high standards of its operation from highly respected UK safety organisation the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). The children’s entertainment centre, at Roebuck Way, Knowlhill, has been presented with a gold RoSPA Play Quality Operator Award ‘for the quality of the operation of their play place’ which incorporates a wide range of attractions, including a large central play structure, family bumper cars, a carousel and the 360 Street creative play zone. This role play and free play element is designed to stimulate the creativity in young minds and let imaginations run wild, while also providing an opportunity for parents to get involved in play with their children. 360 Play is a popular destination for families with young children and features the company’s tried and tested formula of a wide range of activities for all children, from toddlers up to the age of 12. Importantly, everything is designed so that adults can join in too, thus providing a true family day out opportunity. “We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award from RoSPA,” said 360 Play’s group sales and marketing manager Michelle Pearson-Elliott. “The team works hard to provide our visitors with a high quality experience in every aspect of the operation and it is gratifying to be recognised for the very high standards we set ourselves and maintain. The whole team at the centre can be very proud of this achievement.” For more information on 360 Play visit 36597855FCA55B54F30F55D8820A2F8B Wed, 13 Jun 2018 02:53:25 +0000 Puck Aid event raises £20,000 As an event to bring down the curtain on the 2017-18 Elite League season, the inaugural Puck Aid event brought together ice hockey fans from around the country – and its success has been revealed with news that the evening raised £20,000. Proceeds came not just from ticket sales for the April event, but also from profits on sales of limited edition merchandise, the event programme and fund-raising events on the day.  Following the event, every player’s jersey worn from the showcase Team North vs Team South fixture was auctioned, raising further income for the charity. Held at MK Lightning’s home rink, the Planet Ice MK Arena, the fund-raising fixture began with an exhibition sledge hockey fixture – highlighting how participants with limited mobility can get involved in ice hockey – followed by a match-up featuring players from Milton Keynes’s junior organisation, MK Storm. The evening Team North vs Team South match brought together hockey stars past and present, including Smith Recycling MK Lightning alumni Glenn Billing, James Griffin, Jonathan Boxill, Christian Isackson and Denny Kearney. The event was well attended, with jerseys representing many British hockey teams being sported around the venue.  A light-hearted and lively game was enjoyed by the crowd, with the atmosphere receiving an extra boost as news filtered through that the Team GB squad had secured promotion to division 1A. Founded by former BBC Sports Personality of the Year (Unsung hero) Lance Haggith, the Sports Traider charity raises funds to give disadvantaged persons with the equipment and support they need to discover and fulfil their sporting ambition and potential, whatever their background, ability or disability. Speaking on behalf of the MK Lightning, team owner Graham Moody commented, “It’s wonderful news that so much money was raised for a very deserving cause.  A lot of people from ice hockey were involved in helping with the planning and on the day itself, and I know every one of them will be proud to have played a small part in the raising of a phenomenal amount of money.  But the biggest thanks must go to everyone who donated money.  Sports Traider are already planning next year’s event and on behalf of everyone involved this year, we wish them every possible success!” E022C20AD33354CBEC77CC9709996DD1 Wed, 13 Jun 2018 03:36:13 +0000 Bombe Gallery opens at TNMOC on 23 June On the afternoon of Saturday 23 June 2018, the new Bombe Gallery in The National Museum of Computing will be opened by two of the original Bombe operators. Thanks to the generosity of Crowdfunder donors, who raised more than £50,000 in March, the Bombe's arrival was accomplished smoothly and quickly. Visitors will be able to see the world-famous Bombe reconstruction in action and learn how it broke enemy Enigma messages during the Second World War – and compare it to the acclaimed working Colossus reconstruction and discover how it was instrumental in breaking Lorenz messages. New virtual reconstructions of the wartime code-breaking as created by a TNMOC volunteer on a PC will also be on display. Outside Block H, the home of The National Museum of Computing, wartime re-enactors will bring the history alive and give a sense of the wartime atmosphere. The full museum will be open from 12 noon to 5pm and visitors will have a chance to see how wartime ingenuity kick-started the British post-war computer developments that has led to today’s digital world. There will also be family fun features including retro computer games and quite a few other surprises in store -- including cream teas! Everyone is welcome to come to celebrate the opening of the new Bombe Gallery and to pay homage to those remarkable wartime codebreakers. The 23 June 2018 is also the 106th anniversary of Alan Turing's birth. As 23 June 2018 is also International Women in Engineering Day, there will be free entry to the museum on the day for women working in computing or engineering. For more information visit: 2EFF4694DC9B370D5464F920C0FBB7BA Wed, 13 Jun 2018 03:39:25 +0000 One of the UK’s biggest Aqua Parks is coming to Milton Keynes This summer, one of the biggest Aqua Parks in the country is opening in Milton Keynes. Aqua Parcs, the ultimate inflatable water adventure course, is over 120 metres long and will feature a staggering 30+ obstacles, from climbing walls, giant slides and bouncing balls to the super fast figure-of-eight slide. The colossal course will be harboured on Willen Lake from July and stay throughout the whole summer, offering families, groups of friends, local businesses and adrenalin junkies a new, unique and fun leisure experience. The all-weather park is the creation of entrepreneurs Kieron Murty and Joe Grix, Kieron said: “Aqua Parcs is all the fun and excitement of a giant bouncy castle, with slides, challenges and obstacles, but on water. The park has been created for children from ages eight and up to enjoy and for adults to forget they’re adults. We can’t wait to bring this to Milton Keynes.” Aqua Parcs is safe for all and is patrolled by trained lifeguards at each section, however all participants must be able to swim 25m unaided wearing the park's buoyancy vest. Wet suit hire is included within the £20 fee and each session lasts one hour. Once given the safety brief, participants swim 10 metres out to the park and are then free to explore, have fun and go wild! Joe adds: “Whether you want to race around the course against your friends, work with your colleagues as a team or relax and take in the feeling of being in the middle of the lake, Aqua Parcs is a great experience for everyone.” The official opening date will be revealed in the coming weeks and bookings will be made available then. For now, Aqua Parcs invites people to join their mailing list to be the first to find out the launch date along with exclusive opening offers. Visit to join the mailing list. Plus find Aqua Parcs on social media at: Twitter: @aquaparcs Instagram: @aquaparcs 7D50C67063C0736612686F397A294FA4 Fri, 25 May 2018 05:30:04 +0000 Matilda the Musical is coming to Milton Keynes Theatre Winner of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, Matilda The Musical will open at Milton Keynes Theatre (5 June – 30 June). The title role will be shared by Annalise Bradbury, Lara Cohen, Poppy Jones and Nicola Turner. Craige Els will reprise the role of Miss Trunchbull, having played her in the West End for three years between 2014 and 2017. He will be joined by Carly Thoms as Miss Honey and Sebastien Torkia as Mr Wormwood as well as former West End cast-mate Rebecca Thornhill as Mrs Wormwood. The full adult cast includes Joe Atkinson, Peter Bindloss, Oliver Bingham, Emily Bull, Matthew Caputo, Samara Casteallo, Craige Els, Matt Gillett, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell, Sam Lathwood, Steffan Lloyd-Evans, Charlie Martin, Anu Ogunmefun, Carly Thoms, Rebecca Thornhill, Sebastien Torkia, Taylor Walker, Adam Vaughan and Dawn Williams. Inspired by the incomparable Roald Dahl’s beloved book, Matilda The Musical was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and premiered at the RSC’s The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2010, before transferring to London’s West End in October 2011, where it opened to rave reviews. The New York production of Matilda The Musical opened in April 2013 at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre and was celebrated on 10 “Top Ten” lists for 2013, including TIME Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year. Matilda The Musical has now been seen by more than 7.7 million people worldwide. Having swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards, with a record-breaking seven awards, and winning four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway, Matilda The Musical has now played in over 60 cities and has played more than 5,500 performances worldwide. -LISTINGS- Performances: Tuesday 5 – Saturday 30 June. Evenings: 7.30pm, Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm Tickets: from £17.50 Box Office: 0844 871 7652* Groups Hotline: 0333 0095 939 Access Booking: 0800 912 6971* Online Booking: ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes* *Fees apply. Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge. 8B910E56415EB6BD1037B46E6E619C58 Wed, 23 May 2018 02:43:46 +0000 intu Milton Keynes makes fashion 'personal' with new service With the new fashion season in full swing, intu Milton Keynes is excited to announce it has partnered with local stylist, Isabel Kelly to offer a new Personal Shopper service for its customers. Isabel runs one of the region's most successful Personal Shopping businesses, called The Wardrobe Edit, and has agreed to offer an exclusive service partnered with Milton Keynes' premium shopping centre. Created to instil confidence in what people wear, no matter what their body shape or size, Isabel is highly trained and experienced to transform body confidence. She said: "I have witnessed how great you can feel by finding clothes that really suit you and your body shape. I work with women of all ages, shapes and budgets and know that we all have body insecurities - however my aim is to help you realise how gorgeous you are. Body shape, size and age isn't (and shouldn't ever be) a barrier to looking and feeling good about yourself. The Wardrobe Edit was specifically created to help you find your own unique style and gain real body confidence." "I am thrilled to be working with intu Milton Keynes and can't wait to help shoppers find something perfect for their lifestyle and body shape from the fantastic range of stores." Shelley Peppard, general manager at intu Milton Keynes said: "It's incredible how you can change your look and the way you feel by simply adapting what you wear and how you wear it. Isabel is the best in her field, easy to talk to and has a great understanding of fashion, style and a woman's figure. We're excited to be able to offer this potentially life-enhancing service for our shoppers." If you're interested in talking to Isabel to find out more and for a free consultation, contact the Wardrobe Edit on 07966 390176 or visit Isabel works only with female clients. 723E8F97FDE15F7A8D5FF8D558EA3F16 Tue, 22 May 2018 12:28:16 +0000 Family fun galore in store as MK Museum celebrates the Victorian era It was the era of exploration and discovery and this June Milton Keynes Museum is turning back the clock and inviting everyone to experience Victorian life. The glorious age of Music Hall was one of the ways that people would let their hair down and enjoy themselves, and you'll hear the favourite songs from the era. You will be able to take tea with Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and enjoy lessons in etiquette, so as not to make any embarrassing slip-ups in royal company. Spaces are limited for such an honour and full details can be found at Bookings are being taken by phone on 01908 316222 if you wish to have a natter with HM over the finest bone china! Beware the Ragged Victorians, who come straight from the pages of Oliver Twist. They will be re-enacting the other side of Victorian life on site all weekend. Be careful though, or they might pick a pocket or two! The Palace of Curiosities will be full of fun and fascination in equal measure – and the Victorian fairground show 'finds' include the mysterious Marcus Island Mermaid. Soldiers of the Victorian Military Society will be looking smart in their crimson jackets, and you can even discover secrets hidden in old military photographs with 'Who Do You Think You Are?' expert Graham Bandy. Why not bring your own family snaps along? Elsewhere on site you can take home a souvenir from the on-site Victorian traders, and enjoy the sounds of the New Bradwell Band. Historical costumier Izabela Pitcher will bring a gorgeous display of Victorian fashion, you can learn about liquorish making with Jack Greene, and get stuck into popular games from the period - try your luck at the coconut shy, with the skittles or at hoopla. The event will be sound-tracked by local bands who will get your feet tapping, and all the usual museum attractions will be open. Roll-up, roll-up for as much exuberant entertainment as you can handle this June 23 & 24! Standard admission prices apply – which will also give you FREE entry for the following 12 months when Gift Aid is given; adults £9, child £6, retired & unwaged £7. A family ticket (admitting two adults and up to four children) is £26. More information about forthcoming events and expansion plans can be found on the website 422F010441436AE9511D3E04A6D0D186 Mon, 21 May 2018 11:48:49 +0000 College Brasserie wins MK Restaurant of the Year The Brasserie at Milton Keynes College’s Bletchley Campus has been named Restaurant of the Year in the 2018 MK Food Awards.  Maria Bowness, Head of School for Hair, Beauty, Hospitality & Events at the College says, “For a college restaurant to win this prize against such stiff competition is absolutely remarkable and we’re all so very proud of them.  There were some big names on the shortlist so everyone involved can hold their heads up high.  We train our students in the best traditions of what a good restaurant should be, and their success proves that training is of top quality.” One of the judges was award-winning personal chef, Spencer Ollington, who said, “The Brasserie at Milton Keynes College won best restaurant because it has found the magic formula of combining venue with atmosphere and ambience, coupled with first class delivery of both food and service. Not one other restaurant in Milton Keynes achieved all of these things. What was particularly striking was their attitude and approach to catering for all styles of diets with a mixture of new and old techniques and flavours. A first class dining experience at an exceptional price. Not to be missed!” Third place in the Chef of the Year competition went to Laura Fedoriw, a Professional Cookery student who has been studying catering at the college studying catering for three years. Spencer says, “Laura really shone in the MKFLA Chef of the year competition and gave lots of 'professional chefs' a run for their money.  In fact there was only half a point between first and third across a panel of nine judges.  The consistency of execution in all elements of both her main course and dessert dish were restaurant standard and you could see she has lots of promise and will go far. Her success is an absolute testament to the hard work she puts in and talent she has, but also to the exceptional work of the catering team at MK College.” Maria Bowness added, “Laura is a very talented individual who’s worked incredibly hard to get where she is.  We’ve known for some time that she’s a culinary star in the making and this is so thoroughly well deserved.” Meanwhile, another top nomination has come in from the catering world from the first ever Chef Mentor Awards organised in association with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.  Brasserie Head Chef, George Spires, has been put forward for the award celebrating the education sector.  The Mentor Awards have been launched to recognise individuals, who have helped to train, nurture and develop Chefs across the UK hospitality and catering industry.  The winners will be announced at a gala event in July. FB598CB494B6E98253995D800FAB908D Mon, 21 May 2018 11:53:40 +0000 Art and Us programme supports yound people with complex needs This May, MK Gallery has launched its brand new Art and Us programme of family art activities for children aged 5 and over with profound learning and/or physical disabilities. The first event took place on Sunday 6 May, and continues with weekly two hour sessions that enable families to work directly with an artist to explore their creative interests. Families will be able to enjoy spending time together in a creative, accessible and fun environment that caters to everyone’s needs. The programme, which extends MK Gallery’s role in improving access to culture, is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and MK Community Foundation and has been developed in recognition of the unique requirements of families with a child or children with complex needs. The sessions are facilitated by a number of MK Gallery Associate Artists, including:   Alice Boland-Rhodes Sophie Bennett Carlos Cortes India Harvey Willow Mitchell Nicole Morris Jane Glynn   Together they offer a varied and strong track record working with children with physical and learning disabilities and family groups. Bethany Mitchell, Curator of Inclusion at MK Gallery, explains: “Art and Us offers an incredibly exciting creative programme for families with children with complex needs. These weekly Sunday sessions create valuable opportunities for family groups to work together, alongside an artist, and to expand upon their interests through open ended, responsive activity. Both myself and our team of Art and Us Associate Artists are thrilled to meet more of our local families and to explore, play and learn alongside each other in a safe and stimulating environment which will be shaped by us all.” MK Gallery is currently undergoing a major expansion, with the main gallery building due to reopen in early 2019. The new building will have impressive access facilities with routes of a generous width, accessible signage, a hearing loop, portable seating and a Changing Places toilet – a facility for those whose needs mean they are unable to use a standard accessible toilet. Please email Bethany Mitchell for further information: For further information about MK Gallery visit, or find us on Facebook and Twitter @MK_Gallery. E99298B28ED320343949B7631BEBE7E5 Mon, 21 May 2018 11:59:10 +0000 McDonald's announce second Milton Keynes charity football tournament Local McDonald’s franchise Kaizen Restaurants has today announced the return of the Kaizen Football Tournament, which will be held on Tuesday 31 July in aid of Ronald McDonald House.  Now, local teams are invited to sign up and pay before Friday 15 June to take advantage of a discounted rate of £140 per team. On Tuesday 31 July, 50 teams from across the country will take to the field and fight it out for the annual Kaizen Trophy.  The tournament will take place at the popular Power League facility in Walnut Tree, kicking off at 10am and running until 5pm.  Male, female and mixed teams are welcome.  Refreshments will be available during the day and a raffle and charity auction will also take place in the afternoon.  After Friday 15 June, registrations will increase to £150 per team. Ken Tomkins, franchise owner of Kaizen Restaurants, commented “Having seen for ourselves the incredible work done by the teams at Ronald McDonald Houses around the country, and with work starting on the new House in Oxford starting later this year, we have been clear in our need to drive our fundraising efforts further than ever.” Ken continued, “We’re really excited to see which team will win the second Kaizen Trophy on Tuesday 31 July, and hope local teams will sign up to be part of the day’s activities!” If your team are interested in registering to take part in the Kaizen Football Tournament, please contact Laura Chapman by email on  Make sure you follow Kaizen Restaurants on social media to stay up to date with the Kaizen Football Tournament and other activity in the local community throughout the year.  You can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching “KaizenMcDsMK”. FD1095D744E5A2BA86CA7A9870AA6730 Mon, 21 May 2018 12:06:14 +0000 MK votes for Best Asian Restaurant Staff at Calcutta Brasserie in Stony Stratford are celebrating after winning the Best Asian Restaurant award at the prestigious Milton Keynes Food and Leisure Awards. After being shortlisted by a public vote against every Asian restaurant in the local area, the Indian restaurant was then judged by a mystery diner who scored each of the six shortlisted venues on food, service and atmosphere. The results were announced at a glitzy black tie gala event at Holiday Inn CMK on Monday evening, attended by over 200 people from the hospitality industry with Calcutta Brasserie revealed as the winner. Restaurant Manager, Ali Ajmol said: “We are absolutely thrilled and so proud to have won this prestigious award. Our team work hard to give our customers outstanding food and service in a beautiful, historic setting. We are very proud to have won.” The restaurant, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, will be celebrating the news by giving one lucky winner the prize of a meal for two every month for a year.  Entries can be made via the Calcutta Brasserie website and social media this week. Over the past few years, Calcutta Brasserie has also won the Best Chef In The UK Award, been shortlisted twice in the British Curry Awards and won local praise for its charity work. 2F4059DBDEF515F7DDF25D1888EC1704 Wed, 16 May 2018 03:54:45 +0000 360 Play announces Love 360 campaign winner Milton Keynes’ favourite children’s entertainment centre 360 Play has announced the winners of a prize draw linked to a campaign aimed at discovering what visitors love about the venue. Held over several weeks during March and April, the Love 360 campaign gave visitors the chance to have their say and reveal what they like best about 360 Play. They were asked to note what their favourite attractions and facilities are and were also able to include how long they’ve been visiting 360 Play and share any favourite memories they have of family days out or other visits they’ve made to the centre. The Love 360 campaign also provided guests with the opportunity to win an Annual Play Pass. All those who shared their experiences of 360 Play were entered into a prize draw to win one of two passes for the Milton Keynes centre at Knowlhill. As well as being sent to local media, the winners’ stories have also been featured on 360 Play’s social media pages, allowing others to hear about the venue from people who really know it and what it is all about. Two winners who visit 360 Play Milton Keynes have now been announced, these being Nicolle Gibson and Gyn Lopez, who along with their children clearly Love 360. “As a first time mummy I’ve been really nervous taking my little boy out to new places but cannot begin to express how much fun we now have visiting 360 in MK,” said Nicolle. “It was one of our first outings and the first soft play centre we ever went to. My little boy loved it and didn’t stop smiling! His face beams when he sees the carousel and the lights... it melts my heart.” Gyn also has nothing but praise for 360 Play, saying: “My kids love 360 Play. We arrive at 11am and stay till closure. They love the slide and the messy play room and my son loves the football space as he always makes new friends there. We all love 360 Play. The team are doing a brilliant job as well to make it work.” For more information on 360 Play visit E6D71413617DFBA7A5FF5B9A7180C007 Tue, 15 May 2018 02:11:18 +0000 MK Lightning announce first pre-season challenge fixtures The 2017-18 season may have only recently ended - but the Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning can now reveal two of their pre-season challenge fixtures to get fans raring to go for the 2018-19 campaign. The Lightning will face Guildford Flames at Planet Ice MK Arena on Saturday 1 September at 7pm, then again in Guildford on Sunday 2 September. Both teams made their Elite League debuts last autumn after many years competing at English Premier League level.  Lightning’s new Head Coach, Doug McKay, will aim to make his mark on the UK’s top flight at his first attempt, whilst Flames’ boss Paul Dixon will want to improve on a sixth place finish last year. The two sides have long enjoyed an intense rivalry that is sure to continue into their second EIHL season, with both sides having points to prove. Although these pre-season games are still almost four months away, that means supporters can save the date to make sure they’re at the MK Arena to roar on their team! Ticket information will be released later this summer along with more signing news - fans can make sure they’re amongst the first to hear it all by following the club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as to stay up to date with all this summer’s signing news. 1F539471127C904E22309F6FA599E98F Tue, 15 May 2018 02:20:59 +0000 Nativity! the Musical seeks children across the UK for starring roles Following sold-out performances in London and a triumphant UK tour in 2017, Jamie Wilson, Entertainment One (eOne), Ramin Sabi and Belgrade Theatre Coventry are delighted to announce the return of Nativity! The Musical and are on the look-out for children across the UK to audition for the 2018 UK tour. Bright, young stars from across the country will have a chance to sparkle and shine as one of the children from Oakmoor School. Auditions will be held around the country, coming to Milton Keynes on Saturday 30 June. Other dates include: Liverpool on 30 May, Oxford 9 June, Stoke 16 June, Coventry 7 July, Nottingham 21 July and London 14 July. Auditions for both Edinburgh and Glasgow will be held in Edinburgh on the 23 June (children will need to be available to play both venues). All children auditioning must be: Children must be age 9-12 years old by 1st September 2018 Strictly no taller than 4ft 7inches Children must live within 45 miles commute to the venue and be available to perform the playing dates of the venue they are auditioning for – tour dates listed below Characterful but disciplined children with strong singing, acting and movement skills and with a passion for performing Nativity! The Musical is written and directed by the creator and director of the blockbuster film series, Debbie Isitt. Debbie said; ‘We are looking for characterful but disciplined children who can 'act' as snobby and superior and yet have a sense of fun and can give over the top performances if required.  We need the children to have good movement ability - marching, basic choreography and have excellent posture.  They should also be able to sing confidently, have basic acting ability and enjoy performing’. Every child in every school has one Christmas wish, to star in a Nativity, and at St Bernadette’s School they’ve decided to mount a musical version! Join teacher Mr Maddens and his crazy assistant Mr Poppy as they struggle with hilarious children, and a whole lot of sparkle and shine to make everyone’s Christmas wish come true. Featuring all of your favourite sing-a-long songs from the smash-hit films including Sparkle and Shine, Nazareth and One Night One Moment. Nativity! The Musical promises to be the perfect feel-good comedy for all the family. To audition, children must be pre-registered with Keston and Keston the Children’s Regional Casting Directors via the iOS App ‘Keston Casting- downloadable’ which can be downloaded for free via the app store or registration can be via the website All children who fall within the criteria above will be sent an invite with full information and the location for the audition. 78F41579C50B633EC3C475380260FB61 Tue, 15 May 2018 02:36:26 +0000 McDonald's McDelivery now available in Milton Keynes Get ready as the moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived…the McDonald’s McDelivery service is now live in Milton Keynes and available from three restaurants across the city to bring you breakfast in bed, lunch al desko or dinner a deux. The McDelivery service, in partnership with UberEATS, is available to anyone within one and a half miles of the centre:mk, Xscape and Portway restaurants in Central Milton Keynes. This announcement comes as McDonald’s celebrates more than one million individual customers having used the popular service. Franchisee of the Midsummer Arcade and Xscape branches, Ken Tomkins, comments: “My restaurant teams and I are delighted to be introducing the McDelivery service, offering yet another level of convenience to our loyal, local customers. Delivery is something that our customers often ask about so it’s exciting that we’re now able to provide our freshly made, great-tasting food in a way that suits their busy lives.”   How it works: The McDelivery service promises to deliver your favourite menu items to your door at the click of an app bringing you more choice, control and personalisation than ever before. The McDelivery option on UberEATS will feature McDonald’s breakfast, lunch and dinner options and will be available within 1.5 miles of the participating McDonald’s restaurant from 8am – midnight, seven days a week. McDelivery is easy: 1.    Download the UberEATS app or order online at 2.    Pick delivery location - enter the address where you’d like your meal delivered 3.    Search for your nearest McDonald’s location in the app 4.    Place your order - pick the items you want right now or schedule your order to arrive when you want. You can add notes to customise your meal and like Uber the order is charged to your card on file 5.    Follow the progress of the delivery - get updates on the preparation of your order and watch your bicycle/motorcycle courier arrive live in-app EF126722E64E98D1C33933783E52EAFC Wed, 09 May 2018 12:18:14 +0000 The Bombe arrives at TNMOC After more than ten hours of tense work, the Turing-Welchman Bombe arrived safely at The National Museum of Computing on Bletchley Park. With air lifts, wheel changes and extremely tight squeezes, the reconstruction of the extraordinary Enigma code-breaking machine edged its way into its new gallery that will soon be open to the public.   The move was made possible thanks to the generous contributions of more than 500 individuals and organisations who donated more than £50,000 in a four-week Crowdfunder appeal ending in March to keep the Bombe on the Bletchley Park Estate. TNMOC Trustee Keven Murrell who was present on moving day to lend a hand described the tension of the operation: “To transport a one-tonne machine with delicate moving parts over flower beds, up steps and ramps and through the narrowest of gaps and around the tightest of turns was an astonishing feat. Even removing the door frame to the new gallery wasn’t enough to squeeze the Bombe into its new location – last minute judicious handywork was required to create an extra half-a-centimetre of space! As darkness fell, the Bombe finally reached its new home – and not one person dropped the Bombe.” The move was accomplished by the Bombe team volunteers led by John Harper, a resident TNMOC team led by Jacqui Garrad, and a highly experienced team of removal experts from Flegg Transport. On behalf of everyone at TNMOC, Andrew Herbert, chair of trustees, said, “It is a real thrill to know that so many people have contributed to the success of the move – from the generosity of the general public to the expertise of the reconstructors. It is a heartfelt tribute from today’s generations to the codebreakers and digital pioneers of the past.” The Turing-Welchman Bombe was the electro-mechanical device designed by Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman, based on a Polish concept, to automate the deciphering of Enigma-encrypted messages during the Second World War. After years of work, a team led by John Harper finished the reconstruction of the machine in 2007. The reconstructed Bombe is now located very close to the existing world-famous rebuild of Colossus that helped break the Lorenz cipher of German High Command during the Second World War. Together these two displays explore the ingenuity and inventiveness of the Second World War codebreakers -- and the beginnings of our digital world. The new Bombe Gallery will be officially opened this summer when the gallery refurbishment is complete. C1399F2EB50E562B9E0F3778C16FD7A3 Wed, 09 May 2018 03:04:54 +0000 Maaya celebrates second birthday in style The Hub’s award-winning independent Indian restaurant, Maaya, celebrated two years of business with an all-singing, all-dancing and all fire-eating party. Guests were treated to a stunning display of fire-breathing and eating, plus Bollywood dancing throughout a night of celebration and festivities. The champagne reception was followed by a specially created menu by the Head Chef, giving customers a new taste of authentic Indian dishes, inspired by Chef’s family cooking and upbringing. “The party was a wonderful success and a celebration of another year of hard work and commitment to Milton Keynes,” said owner and manager, Mo Abdul. “We have learnt a lot over two years and made changes to ensure our customers’ experience is always a personal and professional one. We are incredibly proud to be the only independent restaurant in The Hub and to be in Milton Keynes. Thank you to everyone for their unconditional support, it means so much to us all.” Last month, Maaya was awarded the Best Indian Restaurant in Milton Keynes 2018 at the Restaurant & Bar Awards, by global luxury magazine LUX Magazine. E33D974AAE13E4D877477D51D8BAFDC4 Tue, 08 May 2018 03:03:34 +0000 IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2018 announces more headlining events Produced by The Stables every two years, IF: Milton Keynes International Festival returns for its fifth edition from Friday 20 to Sunday 29 July 2018. Once again, centre:mk, Milton Keynes’ iconic shopping centre, is supporting the Festival as its Headline Sponsor. Middleton Hall and Queens Court will be joining the public spaces of the city, and venues including The Stables and Milton Keynes Theatre to host a programme of new commissions, outdoor and large-scale performance, live music, circus, stand-up comedy, family activities and free events. The International Festival aims to transform Milton Keynes for ten amazing days, encouraging a sense of pride, and promoting the city nationally and internationally. For 2018, the Festival’s programme is underpinned by the contemporary themes of migration, community, identity and home - what connects us and what divides us. Highlights include: Catalan company Sarruga and their city-conquering Insectes taking over the streets for the free opening night event. IF: Milton Keynes International Festival is known for its stunning large-scale opening events. For Insectes, giant mechanical insects parade through the city streets in a larger-than-life spectacle with music and special effects. Operated by cycle power, these mini-beasts become super-sized fantastical steam-breathing giants towering over cars and audiences, feasting on trees and staring into upper floor windows. The Insectes weave their way through the city, ending up in Campbell Park for a firework finale. Central Milton Keynes, Friday 20 July from 9.45pm The UK premiere of Halka by Groupe Acrobatique De Tanger from Morocco. This collective of 14 acrobats and musicians offer us their perspective on their hometown of Tangier. Halka – the Arabic word to describe the circle formed by a crowd gathered around street performers – takes its audiences on a journey through bustling market places, cafés and beaches, sharing stories with a combination of traditional and contemporary acrobatics, tumbling and high-flying human pyramids. Having worked with a number of international directors, Halka is notably directed by female company member, Abdeliazide Senhadji. It will be performed in the Circus Hub within Middleton Hall in centre:mk, as part of the Festival’s celebrations of Circus250, marking 250 years of contemporary circus. Groupe Acrobatique De Tanger is the biggest company that the Festival has ever brought to Milton Keynes. Circus Hub in Middleton Hall, centre:mk MK9 3EP from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 July La Cocina Pública, a mobile community kitchen housed in a shipping container from Chilean company Teatro Container. Every city, town or village has its own secret recipes, the ones that don’t appear on official menus. The members of Teatro Container will work with the community in West Bletchley, Milton Keynes, to go in search of those recipes – and their associated stories. Using food to create social interaction, and drawing on local traditions and neighbourhood customs, La Cocina Pública brings communities together to cook, eat, and enjoy live music and conversation. The event is part of the company’s UK premiere tour. West Bletchley in Milton Keynes from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 July The only UK performances of Dutch theatre maker and visual artist Dries Verhoeven’s Phobiarama following its London premiere. An artist who aims to highlight our socio-political reality, Verhoeven invites his audiences on board a theatrical ‘ghost train’ to explore our contemporary culture of fear, difference and migration with its ever-increasing threats and paranoia. Visitors will be swept along on a thought-provoking tour of today’s angst-fuelling media landscape that’s so often flawlessly exploited by politicians, terrorists, marketers and fake news. Campbell Park MK9 4AD from Friday 20 to Sunday 29 July (no performance on Tuesday 24 July) The UK premiere of The Democratic Set Milton Keynes, a film made in three days by Australia’s Back To Back Theatre. Based in Geelong, Australia, Back To Back Theatre has been instrumental in bringing exemplary art made by people with disabilities to audiences and community participants worldwide. The Democratic Set is a residency model for creating work which explores the belief that all people are, in principle, equal and should enjoy social, political and economic rights and opportunities.  Back To Back will work in collaboration with Milton Keynes residents and community groups to make a short film with a custom-made set to capture a series of short live performances and video portraits. Filming in central Milton Keynes from Monday 23 to Wednesday 25 July, editing on Thursday 26 July, screening on Friday 27 July (location tbc) Jony Easterby’s immersive night-time adventure For the Birds - where sound and light take flight. At a historic woodland location, audiences embark on a self-guided journey following a trail of installations – performances, sound, projections and kinetic sculptures – which celebrate birds in song, movement and flight. Artists including Mark Anderson, Jony Easterby, Kathy Hinde and Ulf Pederson explore the boundaries between raw elemental materials, natural dynamics, sound technology and composition. Linford Manor Park, Great Linford, nearest postcode MK14 5AX, from Friday 20 to Saturday 28 July (no event on Tuesday 24 July) The first English performances of Wind Resistance, a solo show created and performed by singer-songwriter Karine Polwart.  An alchemic mix of song and story, Wind Resistance is a meditation on the moorland and wildlife of Polwart’s Midlothian home. A hit at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016, Wind Resistance was nominated for Best New Play, Best Production, Best Director and was Winner of Best Music & Sound at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2017. Karine Polwart has also just won Folk Singer of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2018. The Stables, Wavendon, Milton Keynes MK17 8LU from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 July The UK premiere of For The Time Being from Holland’s Schweigman& and Slagwerk Den Haag. Dutch artist Boukje Schweigman, artistic director of Utrecht’s Schweigman& creates wordless visual and musical theatre which sharpens the senses. Here she works with percussion group Slagwerk Den Haag to create For The Time Being, a playful experiment with the audience’s experience of time. This promenade performance is at Milton Keynes Theatre which sees the venue taking part in the International Festival for the first time. Milton Keynes Theatre MK9 3NZ on Sunday 22 and Monday 23 July The UK Premiere of large-scale installation Life of Tree by Belgian company Theater Tol. Life of Tree consists of vast illuminated dresses, each symbolising a remarkable woman from history including Simone de Beauvoir and Florence Nightingale. Each dress has an accompanying soundtrack, spoken word and dance piece paying tribute to the women’s pioneering courage, strength and intelligence. Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD from Friday 20 to Sunday 29 July (dance performance times to be announced) The glamorous Spiegeltent has been a hit since its first outing in 2010 and will again serve up the best in music, comedy, family events and cabaret throughout the 10 days of the Festival, including Paul Young and Los Pacaminos, comedians Mark Watson and Tom Allen, folk music royalty Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, Newton Faulkner and Comedy 4 Kids. The Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD from Friday 20 to Sunday 29 July Just added to the Spiegeltent programme is a one-off concert from pioneering audio-video remixers and electronic duo Addictive TV’s Orchestra of Samples with special guest Dame Evelyn Glennie. Orchestra of Samples brings together over 200 musicians from nearly 30 countries - they’ve never met but together they form an on-screen supergroup. Joining them live on stage for this unique performance will be world-famous percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. To create the Orchestra, Addictive TV filmed improvised recording sessions with musicians from around the world including Brazil, Egypt, Senegal, Colombia and even Bhutan over a six-year period. They then sampled, spliced and re-imagined the music resulting in an extraordinary new fusion crossing multiple styles and cultures, a musical journey without borders. The Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD on Monday 23 July Further programme information to be announced. More information at E8C1BDC555E17FD06B44EA4D3B4ADBDA Fri, 27 Apr 2018 05:13:34 +0000 Partnership working the way forward for two MK organisations Two important organisations with roles in strengthening the city centre vitality both in terms of visitor experience and increasing footfall, and business engagement focussing on employee satisfaction, the overall impression of city centre through clean up projects, transport services and creating a robust and safer environment for all, have come together to form an influential partnership. Destination Milton Keynes, which has a remit to manage the essential visitor economy across the city and Amazing CMK BID (Business Improvement District), which manages ambitious plans to tackle a number of significant city centre issues, will now work together on key projects to create greater opportunities for businesses and venue operators to promote to employees and visitors to CMK. The partnership will see Amazing CMK take a place on the Destination MK Board to allow more input into future plans for promoting Central Milton Keynes and will see a much closer working relationship between the two organisations developing strategy, driving through dedicated projects such as Park ‘n’ Ride and lobbying other MK stakeholders. Melanie Beck, Chief Executive of Amazing CMK commented, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work in partnership with Destination MK. Being aligned with the keepers of the Destination Management Plan will assist in making CMK attractive to both business and visitors.”  CEO of Destination Milton Keynes, Steven Gordon-Wilson said, ““This is a really exciting step in the development of Milton Keynes as a Visitor Destination. DMK and Amazing CMK have always had a great working relationship, both focused on the success of the city, and this partnership will give us the opportunity to work even closer together on specific projects benefitting those that love to live, work and play in MK.” For more information on the services both organisations provide visit or C6A024F688CD57CF6FD4495DBC50E353 Wed, 25 Apr 2018 04:16:16 +0000 Utter joy as LES MISERABLES is announced for MK Theatre Cameron Mackintosh is delighted to announce that Killian Donnelly will play Jean Valjean in the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of the Boublil and Schönberg musical LES MISÉRABLES, coming to Milton Keynes Theatre (14 May – 8 June 2019). Tickets will go on sale to ATG Theatre Card members from Thursday 14 June, with public booking opening Thursday 21 June. Killian Donnelly is currently playing the role of Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Misérables, where his final performance will be Saturday 9 June 2018. Prior to his run in Les Misérables, he played the role of Charlie Price in Kinky Boots on Broadway, a role he originated at the Adelphi Theatre in the West End in 2015, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award. His other theatre credits include: Jackie Day in Donegal, a new play by Frank McGuinness, at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and Huey in the original London cast of Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre for which he was also nominated for an Olivier Award.  He created the role of Deco in The Commitments at the Palace Theatre and has also played Tony in Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre as well as Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre. He first joined the company of Les Misérables in 2008, going onto play the role of Enjolras from 2009 to 2011. In 2010, he played the role of Courfeyrac in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Misérables at The O2 Arena and also played the role of Combeferre in the multi-award-winning film of the show, released in 2012. Cameron Mackintosh said, “When I announced the first UK tour of Les Miserables for ten years, I was really delighted that Killian said to me that he would like to continue playing Jean Valjean.  No stranger to the original production, having played both Enjolras and Valjean with enormous success, his passionate take on the role will be even greater in the thrilling staging of my new production which has proved to be a worldwide success all over again. He is the first Irishman to play the role since Colm Wilkinson in the original and I’m delighted that from advance bookings, this new tour looks set to be sold out before we open”. Since Cameron Mackintosh first conceived this new production of Les Misérables to celebrate the shows 25th anniversary in 2009, it has taken the world by storm. Modern audiences have embraced this production as Les Mis for the 21st century as it plays to packed houses all over the world in many languages. It also inspired the hugely successful movie version starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne. This brilliant new staging has scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, and has been seen in North America, South America, Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Spain, France, Manila, Singapore, Dubai and Broadway. Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Boublil and Schönberg’s magnificent score of LES MISÉRABLES includes the songs, I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Stars, Bring Him Home, Do You Hear the People Sing?, One Day More, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, Master Of The House and many more.  Seen by over 120 million people worldwide in 45 countries and in 22 languages, LES MISÉRABLES is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals. Cameron Mackintosh’s production of LES MISÉRABLES is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, additional material by James Fenton and original adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. The original LES MISÉRABLES orchestrations are by John Cameron with new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke and additional orchestrations by Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker. The production is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, designed by Matt Kinley inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo with costumes by Andreane Neofitou and additional costumes by Christine Rowland, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter, musical staging by Michael Ashcroft and Geoffrey Garratt, projections by Fifty-Nine Productions and music supervision by Stephen Brooker and Graham Hurman. TUESDAY 14 MAY – SATURDAY 8 JUNE 2019 MILTON KEYNES THEATRE - ON SALE DATES ATG THEATRE CARD – Thursday 14 June 2018 GROUPS – Tuesday 19 June 2018 GENERAL – Thursday 21 June 2018 Box Office        0844 871 7652* Online Booking    ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes* *Fees apply. Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge. 9AE5F16BBC85770E1DC3EF156762CEC8 Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:16:55 +0000 MK Gallery seeks budding young architects MK Gallery is excited to announce the launch of its Young Architect 2018 competition, providing children and young people from across Milton Keynes with the opportunity to share their creative vision for the future infrastructure of the city. Anyone aged 4 – 19 years attending a school, college or being home educated in MK can enter. The winner will have their building design professionally modelled by an architect, using Computer Aided Design and will also be awarded an exciting prize for their school. Shortlisted entrants will see their designs featured in the MK Gallery Young Architect 2018 Project Space exhibition, located within the MK Gallery City Club, from 6-28 July. MK Gallery is undergoing a major expansion, and will reopen in 2019 with doubled exhibition spaces; facilities for cinema, performances and events; dedicated education and community resources; and a new café. In the meantime, citizens of Milton Keynes are invited to be a part of the City Club, a new space for everyone to enjoy. It’s a space that can be accessed online or when it pops up across the city. When MK Gallery reopens, it will be a permanent space for people to visit at any time. This competition invites younger audiences to tell us what a building at the City Club might look like. The deadline for entries is 1 June 2018. Tara Page, Learning Manager at MK Gallery explains: “Buildings and built spaces are a part of our everyday lives that can influence the way we think, act and feel. We’re thrilled to be supported by the RIBA, David Lock Associates and 6a, the practice MK Gallery has appointed to design its building expansion, to give children and young people a chance to share their ideas about the possibilities of architecture in MK.” For further information and to download an entry form visit, or find us on Facebook and Twitter @MK_Gallery. 376FF830E4695B5F4A487F430A5FA7B7 Thu, 19 Apr 2018 02:24:09 +0000 intu Milton Keynes launches Tap & Go parking Car parking at intu Milton Keynes just got easier with the launch of its new Tap & Go service. From Wednesday 4 April, customers parking in the multi-storey car park can simply present their contactless bank or credit card to the sensor pad, park up, enjoy a rush-free shop and simply tap their card again on the exit pad. The new Tap & Go service will remove the need for queuing at the pay machines or the need to carry spare change, making a visit to intu Milton Keynes the best it can be. Traditional means of payment will continue to be available for customers not wanting to use the service or for those that don’t have a contactless card. “Many of us are now used to paying for our shopping, meals or tickets by presenting our contactless card at the checkout, making payment easier and faster. Now this experience can be enjoyed when parking at intu Milton Keynes,” said general manager, Shelley Peppard. Shelley adds: “We are currently investing in our car park by completely refurbishing both floors, entrance and exit, making the start and finish of a visit to intu Milton Keynes even more enjoyable. Tap & Go will form part of this overall experience, giving shoppers a simple and handy way to pay for parking.” The intu Milton Keynes car park is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment works, which are being carried out over phases to reduce disruption and ensure people can still use the car park. 971436431AEF6875A9B7997990809A5F Wed, 11 Apr 2018 04:32:59 +0000 The Parks Trusts launches two new regular walks The Parks Trust, the self-financing charity that manages and maintains over 6,000 acres of green space across Milton Keynes, is launching two new regular walks from this month. Discovery Strolls will be held on the third Tuesday of every month, starting from Tuesday 17th April at Great Linford Manor Park at 2pm. Taking place at different locations across the city including Caldecotte Lake and Wolverton Mill, these will be short walks with plenty of stops and toilet facilities available on site. The Discovery Strolls will be suitable for people of all ages and abilities. They will be dementia, autism and ADHD friendly, with everyone welcome. These walks are free to join and booking is not required. In addition, The Parks Trust is launching Woof Walks. These will be monthly walks for dog owners and their canine companions held on a Saturday, with the first walk taking place on Saturday 14th April at Stanton Low at 10am. Led by a Parks Trust ranger, owners will be guided through parks including Tattenhoe Valley and Caldecotte Lake. Tickets for these walks should be booked online in advance, at a cost of £1 per dog. For more information on these walks and to book, please visit Julie Dawes, Events & Community Engagement Manager, commented: “We organise hundreds of events across the city’s parkland every year and some of the most popular of these are our guided walks. We wanted to open these to a wider audience so have decided to launch two new regular walks; Discovery Strolls and Woof Walks. “We hope these will encourage even more people to get outside and explore our beautiful green space, whether they are regularly active or simply want to try something new.” For more information please visit BA67E777107290283DCC9ADAED9459E1 Wed, 11 Apr 2018 04:40:01 +0000 Willen Hospice gears up for MK Midnight Moo 2018! Willen Hospice is calling on local ladies to put their best foot forward for this year’s MK Midnight Moo, taking place on 14 July 2018. The ladies only 10 mile walk starts and finishes at intu Milton Keynes at midnight and is open to walkers of all levels, whether they walk in pairs, teams, or on their own. The charity launched its flagship fundraiser this week, along with supporters including lead sponsor Specsavers Milton Keynes - Centre.   Willen Hospice Chief Executive Peta Wilkinson said: “I am so excited to be launching this year’s MK Midnight Moo! It’s a really popular event in our fundraising calendar with many women returning year on year to raise exceptional amounts to support the specialist end of life care provided by Willen Hospice. “This will be my first Moo and I am appealing to anyone who has maybe thought of taking part before but hasn’t, to join me for a fabulously fun night.” Walkers can sign up for the Moo for just £20 at The registration fee covers the cost of the event, but it is fundraising that is key to the Moo’s success. Events Manager Sarah Sweet-Rowley said: “We get a great response to the MK Midnight Moo and it is always an unforgettable night. This year we are asking our fundraisers to think creatively and raise as much as they can to support the care provided by the Hospice. Fundraising is so much more than just setting up a donation page: get baking, get the hair dye out, get entertaining – and get sponsored for it!” Steve Moore, Director of Specsavers Milton Keynes, added: “We are thrilled to be supporting the MK Midnight Moo. It is such a fun event to be involved with. We are very lucky to be able to support local events and local charities in this way. Willen Hospice provides exceptional care in our community and we are very proud to be able to support the event through this partnership to help them raise vital funds.” Willen Hospice needs to raise £3.6M every year, that’s £7 a minute, to continue to provide care to patients in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas. The MK Midnight Moo is a key event that helps the Hospice to reach that goal. To find out more and to sign up, visit 397D991D3C5B8183562B39B2FAB837B2 Tue, 10 Apr 2018 12:28:48 +0000 The Parks Trust Launches 2018 Photography Competition The Parks Trust, the self-financing charity that looks after over 6,000 acres of green space across Milton Keynes wants all keen amateur photographers to enter its 2018 Photography Competition. The competition is open to people of all ages, with youth and adult sections for each of the three categories; Wildlife, Landscape and Parklife. The Parks Trust’s 2018 competition aims to highlight the beautiful and diverse landscapes, features and people of Milton Keynes. Images must be taken in the green space that is managed and maintained by The Parks Trust. The competition begins on Thursday 1st March 2018 and closes on Thursday 6th September 2018. The winners will be announced on Thursday 20th September 2018. David Foster, Chief Executive of The Parks Trust, commented: “We are very pleased to launch our 2018 photography competition. We always love to see the pictures people take while they are enjoying our parkland and have been staggered by the high quality received in previous years. Good luck to all who enter!” There will be one overall winner of the competition, who will receive £350 of centre:mk gift vouchers. There will then be five other winners (youth and adult winners from each category, excluding the category which the overall winner was selected from) who will receive £50 in centre:mk vouchers. To enter and for full terms and conditions, please visit: Photo above: Old Stumpy at Ouzel Valley Park by Peter Watson, the Overall Winner of the last Photographic Competition, organised by The Parks Trust in 2016. 296806F2F3F138794FCCF685D8D691B9 Tue, 27 Mar 2018 02:12:59 +0000 New season shows at MK Theatre There’s plenty of excitement ahead at Milton Keynes Theatre. With musical mayhem, thrilling dramas, and a trip to Sherwood Forest on the cards you’d be mad to miss out! Hold on to your pigtails! The month of June will see the first ever UK Tour of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s multi award-winning production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, bringing the much loved story to life on the Milton Keynes stage. There’s also fun for all the family with the return of everyone’s favourite green orge with the musical fairytale Shrek The Musical. Let summer come early with feel-good musical Summer Holiday, based on the iconic Cliff Richard movie, starring Ray Quinn (Dancing on Ice winner, X Factor). There’s also some returning favourites on the cards; so bend and snap in the aisles with Legally Blonde, and say ‘Good Morning Baltimore’ as Milton Keynes swings into the 60’s with Hairspray. Continue to step back in time as a host of 80’s movie classics prepare to lift us up where we belong with the brand-new musical An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical and Flashdance starring Strictly’s Joanne Clifton. What a feeling! It’s nearly that time of year again. Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is! Television, musical theatre and panto star Shane Richie will lead the cast in this year’s spectacular family pantomime, Robin Hood. This is the ultimate sheriff-busting, arrow-shooting, tights-wearing, hog-roasting pantomime extravaganza! Dance enthusiasts are in for a treat with a beautiful re-telling of a fairy tale with Northern Ballet’s The Little Mermaid. Or if you’d rather get wrapped up in a mystery you’ll be pleased with upcoming crime dramas, Agatha Christie’s Love From A Stranger, and The Case of The Frightened Lady by Edgar Wallace. The National Theatre continues to provide Milton Keynes audiences with world-class entertainment, and this year the sensational story of War Horse comes galloping in. Milton Keynes Theatre is also presenting 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 Tim Vine. Or why not relive the music of a generation with Whitney – Queen of the Night, ABBA Mania, and You Win Again – Celebrating the Music of the Bee Gees. 46DFB1FD21D4E16401260F54D2B6A88A Wed, 21 Mar 2018 02:39:31 +0000 Shane Richie to star in Robin Hood at Milton Keynes Theatre Milton Keynes Theatre has announced that television, recording, musical theatre and pantomime star Shane Richie will lead the cast in this year’s spectacular family pantomime, Robin Hood from Saturday 8 December 2018. Swapping the Queen Vic for the Sherwood Forest, Shane will star as the heroic outlaw Robin Hood. 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. Michael Harrison, managing director of Qdos Entertainment’s pantomime division said: ‘I’m thrilled that we have managed to secure Shane to star in Robin Hood in Milton Keynes this year. He is a true showman who can do it all, and is a true stalwart of pantomime. Hot on the heels of Cinderella last year, which audiences and critics loved, we can’t wait to bring panto back to Milton Keynes for the 2018 season.’ Emma Sullivan, Theatre Director at Milton Keynes Theatre said: ‘We are delighted to welcome the return of Qdos Entertainment to Milton Keynes Theatre following the roaring success of Cinderella last year.  Robin Hood is a new title for the theatre and with Shane Richie heading the cast audiences are promised a real pantomime treat.’ Robin Hood replaces the previously announced Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with the performance dates and times remaining unchanged. So 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. DE4994A3A1EC0331D2C59D37631A4776 Thu, 08 Mar 2018 10:17:01 +0000 TNMOC introduce Relaxed Opening Sessions for 2018 Paessler AG, the global network management specialist and makers of PRTG Network Monitor, is sponsoring the 2018 Relaxed Opening sessions at The National Museum of Computing. First launched in TNMOC last year to benefit families with autistic children, the Relaxed Opening sessions have been a huge success and already been supported by a Museums + Heritage Prize Fund. Visitors during the Relaxed Opening sessions know that the Museum will be less busy, and that staff will be particularly alert to their needs. Paessler has provided funding to enable the museum to provide its 2018 Relaxed Opening free of charge to visitors, to train guides and stewards to meet the needs of visitors and to enable further development of the initiative. Claire Marston, Head of Learning and initiator of the Relaxed Opening sessions at the Museum, explained: “The multi-sensory aspects of the museum that are such an attraction for most of our visitors can induce sensory overload for people who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). They need to know what to expect and to have ways of lowering that sensory input to a comfortable level. That means having fewer people around, having ear protection where necessary, knowing where there are flickering lights and where they can go to chill out if it all gets a bit too overwhelming. And they need staff and stewards who understand these issues and will offer understanding assistance. We are so pleased that Paessler is offering such generous support for the venture.” Natalie Pratt, Marketing Manager at Paessler, said, “We encounter children with autism among so many of our friends’ and neighbours’ families that we immediately realised the significance of these Relaxed Opening sessions run by the Museum. We appreciate that simple things like free entry is hugely important for families with autistic children, and we are keen to help them enjoy what the Museum has to offer. We are also investigating environmental monitoring possibilities, which could alleviate some of the stress of foreign surroundings.” Previous visitors also agree about the importance and enjoyability of Relaxed Opening sessions. Mary Hooks, mother of Jenson, aged 13 and who has Asperger syndrome, said, “It was very refreshing to be met with staff who had an idea of my son’s struggles, offering the use of headphones and warning us of noise areas and pointing out the chill-out zone. We all really enjoyed it. He was in his element having long in-depth conversations about computers and coding.” Eleven-year-old Jake, wearing his ear protectors in front of the whirring Colossus, accompanied his mother and younger brother and described what the session meant to him: “I’ve enjoyed it a lot more today because there’s not so many crowds and I’ve loved playing and looking at all the old computer systems.” This year, there will be Relaxed Opening sessions, sponsored by Paessler, from 10.30am to 12 noon on: Sunday 18 February 2018 Friday 6 April 2018 Friday 1 June 2018 Friday 27 July 2018 Friday 24 August 2018 Friday 2 November 2018 Early registration is strongly recommended because visitor numbers must be limited. To register please email To help visitors, sensory maps and a visual story are available on the TNMOC website so that they can know exactly what unusual sounds and sights to expect in particular parts of the Museum. To see a video of families enjoying the Relaxed opening experience at the Museum, see E96C7DE8F6390B1E6C71556E4E0A4959 Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:34:39 +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