Latest News Latest News /News/Latest-News Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:26:08 +0000 Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:26:08 +0000 LEGO DUPLO® Morning play experiences to Milton Keynes The FREE events will take place at the LEGO Store Milton Keynes at intu Milton Keynes from 10am – 12pm on the mornings of January 17th, 24th and 31st, and offer pre-school aged children the opportunity to take part in creative LEGO DUPLO building games designed to inspire, amaze and develop their play skills.   As part of the play experience, children will get a chance to build amazing LEGO DUPLO designs such as penguins, butterflies and unicorns or just take part in free creative play of their own – with all participants also receiving money-off vouchers for LEGO DUPLO of their own*.   EVENT INFORMATION – LEGO DUPLO Mornings: Location: LEGO® Store Milton Keynes, intu Milton Keynes, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3GB Date: 17th, 24th and 31st of January 2018 Time: 10am – 12pm Cost: FREE 527BF9AAB6ED58084DC0F026AB7A82CF Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:24:42 +0000 Well chuffed! intu Milton Keynes’ train to remain following success Shoppers at intu Milton Keynes will be ‘well chuffed’ to learn that the hugely popular Christmas Express train will be staying in the shopping centre, until at least the summer. Launched at the start of the festive period, the little locomotive has taken over 4,000 children and parents around intu Milton Keynes on a magical journey down the boulevard, past the ‘frog clock’, around Oak Court and back again. Now, due to popular demand, the centre management are delighted to announce that the train, now called the intu MK Express’ will continue offering its service until at least the summer. Kirsty McGiff, marketing manager at intu Milton Keynes said: “This was the first year we introduced the train and the response has been phenomenal, even the video on social media has had nearly half a million views.  We’re delighted to be able to continue running this great service for our customers and hope to add a new theme to it as we go throughout the year.” The intu MK Express costs £2.50 per person or £6 for three people and the station is located between Chopstix and Starbucks. The service runs seven days a week from 10am. 435D43E52666CD74203C69C2BFE2CAA7 Fri, 12 Jan 2018 11:38:34 +0000 More fun to come at MK50 Showcase Exhibition and MK51 Open Weekend This time last year Milton Keynes was gearing up for a 12 month celebration of Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday – and what a year it was. Communities across MK came together for local events, discovered the beginnings of the ‘New Town’ through exhibitions, cycle, ran and walked through the summer months, MK was honoured by a visit from HRH The Duke of Cambridge, and we danced to music in the rain at Feast of Fire. But the party isn’t over just yet. Following the success of the birthday weekend last year, Living Archive MK have been busy organising another fantastic weekend of events, exhibitions, and open days for MK51 – MK’s official 51st birthday!  It may not have the same ring to it as MK50, but the 20 -23 January promises to be a weekend (plus Monday, Tuesday) of fun and discovery.  Bring the kids along for a Festive Road Open Day, learn about historic New Bradwell on a heritage walk, find something new for 2018 at a girl guiding open day, enjoy the MK51 Family Fun day at Woughton Leisure Centre, gain an insight into MK’s early days at talks and exhibitions, and much, much more. The full programme can be found here. Throughout January and February we’ll also be looking back at 2017 with an MK50 Showcase Exhibition. The free showcase will feature elements from exhibitions, events and projects created and staged during the MK50 year, and there’ll also be support workshops. Come have a look at MK Central Library (upstairs) from January 18 – 22 February. Find out more here. 836082D549F4DEDA76377758AFA279F6 Wed, 10 Jan 2018 03:01:48 +0000 MacIntyre is the new Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival charity for 2018 MacIntyre has been announced as the benefitting charity for the 17th Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival that will take place at Willen Lake on Saturday 23rd June. The Dragon Boat Festival attracts more than 50 companies annually and this year the teams will be invited to raise funds for MacIntyre, a national charity based in Milton Keynes that supports over 1,200 children, young people and adults who have a learning disability or autism. The Dragon Boat Festival will provide the charity with an opportunity to raise its profile within the corporate sector and the wider community, highlighting their main vision for all people with a learning disability to live a life that makes sense to them. The sponsorship raised by the participating teams is expected to make a significant contribution to the funds MacIntyre needs for its vital work. Head of Fundraising, Claire Kennedy, is delighted that MacIntyre is the official Festival charity for 2018. “Having been involved in previous years, we know what a fantastic event this is for everyone who takes part and their families and friends. Every penny raised will be used to benefit the people we support in the Milton Keynes area”.   With entries now open, companies, clubs and organisations from across the region are getting their teams together to take part. They represent a complete mix of new and returning crews but all with the same aim in mind - to enjoy a fabulous day out with colleagues and friends and make a difference in their community. Enhanced Gold and Silver entry packages are available which include marketing benefits such as the company’s logo on each side of a dragon boat as well as a significant donation to MacIntyre. The top fundraisers for MacIntyre will win the Charity trophy plus a special prize meal, sponsored by Merinvest, at highly rated Melis Restaurant in Central Milton Keynes. To take part in the dragon boat racing and help raise money for MacIntyre, no previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit and enthusiasm! The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment are provided and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races. There will also be a variety of bankside entertainment to enjoy such as funfair rides, children’s activities and food stalls. For further information and an entry form visit: or call Gable Events on 01780 470 718. For information about MacIntyre, visit or call 01908 230100 Please note, this year’s Festival takes place at Willen Lake on a Saturday (23rd June) to avoid clashing with the England v Panama World Cup football game on Sunday 24th June. 793D8E745D2B346C4DDC27A534083243 Wed, 10 Jan 2018 03:27:58 +0000 Artwork capturing the voices of thousands of local residents returns to the centremk this January City of Things - a large-scale sound installation by composer and sound artist Caroline Devine - returns to the centre:mk from 6 January until 4 February. Running daily from 10am to 8pm, this ambitious new artwork celebrates the sounds of the unique city of Milton Keynes, and captures the voices of thousands of local residents.   City of Things has been commissioned for City Club, an Arts Council England funded city-wide arts programme inspired by the original cultural plans for Milton Keynes. Led by MK Gallery, City Club brings together artists and arts organisations from across the city to celebrate Milton Keynes’ unique environment and dynamic population across six decades.   Bletchley Park has worked collaboratively with MK Gallery, other members of Heritage MK (Milton Keynes Museum, the Living Archive, City Discovery Centre, Cowper & Newton Museum) and the Open University to support artist Caroline Devine to realise this unique work. City of Things draws inspiration from the rich resource material within these organisations to explore the voices and sounds of the city, past and present.   Describing the piece, Devine states: 'City of Things focuses on the voices, sounds and signals of Milton Keynes - exploring the city through the ears, rather than the eyes. The sound installation comprises field recordings, song, chant and poetry that I have recorded and developed in Milton Keynes over the past year. Local choirs, Buddhists, football fans, traffic, the dawn chorus, bats, insects, the wind and the rain are among the sounds of the city woven throughout my composition. I will present the work via a system of resonators across the large windows of the grade II listed shopping centre building and it will also be played periodically over the tannoy system - spreading the voices of the city throughout the entire shopping centre building.'   As well as combining the voice of nature with the voices of the people of Milton Keynes in song and chant, Devine invited performance poet Murray Lachlan Young to collaborate with her on a number of site-specific compositions. Lachlan Young has written six poems in response to the landscape of Milton Keynes that Devine has woven throughout the work. Lachlan Young has also provided the voice of poet, William Cowper - who lived locally in the eighteenth century and wrote extensively about the area. Devine has sonified a number of Cowper’s works and these together with the site-specific compositions explore Milton Keynes and its surroundings over a period spanning three centuries.   City of Things has featured on BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 3, and BBC Three Counties Radio. The artwork has been well received by audiences with one visitor commenting: ‘Lovely to stand and listen to sounds, so beautifully put together. Amazing to hear the resonance in the windows. A marvellous experience.’. Others described the artwork as ‘thrilling’, ‘wonderful’, and said that they will listen ‘again and again’.   Devine’s site-specific sound installations provide playful and unexpected encounters with sound outside of a conventional gallery setting. She has twice been shortlisted for a BASCA British Composer Award for work based in Milton Keynes: in 2014 for On Air, a large scale outdoor sound installation for The Open University campus in Walton Hall; and in 2013 for 5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun, an outdoor multi-channel sound installation in a dome structure formerly sited in Central Milton Keynes.   City Club is a programme of new art, performances, family activities, commissions, happenings, events and talks which enable thousands of people throughout Milton Keynes to explore, enjoy and be inspired by their surroundings. Led by MK Gallery and delivered in partnership with the city's arts and heritage organisations, the project takes its name from the unrealised national leisure complex proposed for the city by Milton Keynes Development Corporation in the 1970s.   City of Things is free of charge. The artwork will be installed outside John Lewis in the centre:mk. The nearest door is South 16. For further details visit and 600C273011DD92CFFE8BB70613BD796F Tue, 09 Jan 2018 02:46:36 +0000 Matthew Bourne's Cinderella glides into MK Theatre New Adventures are delighted to announce casting for the much-anticipated return of Matthew Bourne’s “CINDERELLA” which comes to Milton Keynes Theatre Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 February. Matthew Bourne said: “Cinderella is one of my most heartfelt works and a personal favourite amongst my re-imagined classic stories. I’m delighted to have brought together this cast of current star performers, experienced New Adventures veterans and exciting young talent. I’m thrilled to see another generation of Company dancers take on this beloved production.” Fresh from their triumph playing Victoria Page in “The Red Shoes”, the role of ‘Cinderella’ will be performed by Cordelia Braithwaite and Ashley Shaw. Cinderella’s heroic Pilot, ‘Harry’, will be performed by Will Bozier, Andrew Monaghan and Dominic North. ‘The Angel’ (Cinderella’s ‘Fairy GodFather’) will be danced by Paris Fitzpatrick and Liam Mower. ‘Sybil’, Cinderella’s Step-Mother, is performed by Madelaine Brennan, Michela Meazza (London only) and Anjali Mehra. ‘Robert’, Cinderella’s Father is performed by Alan Vincent and Dan Wright. One of New Adventures’ most loved productions Matthew Bourne’s “CINDERELLA” is a thrilling and evocative love story, set in London during the Second World War. Matthew Bourne’s interpretation of the classic fairy tale has, at its heart, a true war-time romance. A chance meeting results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz. With Lez Brotherston’s sumptuous costumes and sets, which won an Olivier Award for his original designs, and lighting by Olivier Award-winning Neil Austin, “CINDERELLA” will be performed in Surround Sound, designed by Paul Groothuis and featuring a specially commissioned recording played by a 60-piece orchestra.  Matthew Bourne’s vivid story telling has never been more heart-stopping and touching, and will take the audience into the heart of Prokofiev’s magnificent score, and the sights and sounds of war-torn London. 2017 marks 20 years since “CINDERELLA” first premiered in the West End and New Adventures’ 16th consecutive Christmas season at Sadler’s Wells. “CINDERELLA” concludes a year-long celebration of work to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of New Adventures. New Adventures & Re:Bourne is a national portfolio organisation supported using public funds by Arts Council England. -LISTINGS- Performances: Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 February. Evenings 7.30pm, Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm Tickets: From £16.50 (£19.40 online/phone) Box Office: 0844 871 7652* Groups Hotline: 0333 0095 939 Access Booking: 0800 912 6971* Online Booking:*                 *Fees apply. Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge. 6F46DD176364CCEC308C2760189A4605 Tue, 09 Jan 2018 02:55:44 +0000 intu Milton Keynes delighted by festive generosity intu Milton Keynes held its annual gift wrapping service and filled the centre with choir singing throughout December, with the help of the Christchurch Cornerstone Appeal, to raise funds for local charities. Combined, they have raised an astonishing £15,004.50! The charity gift wrapping station, which was situated by the customer information desk, was on hand to help shoppers wrap their Christmas gifts of all shapes and sizes for a small donation. The teams of volunteers raised a wonderful £7,299.25 over the month and each of the charities, including Advantage Africa, Age UK Milton Keynes, Hope for Hollie and Willen Hospice, took a share of this total with 100% of the total going to the charities. Speaking about the gift wrapping service, Shelley Peppard, general manager of intu Milton Keynes said, “Each year I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our shoppers. During the festive period, we are extremely busy and for shoppers to take some time out of their busy day to visit the gift wrapping station means a lot. The money raised will give the charities involved a huge boost and I can’t thank people enough for their support with this.” As well as the gift wrapping station, festive cheer spread throughout the centre with carols performed daily from the 1 December, by local choirs and bands, including the MK Pipe Bands, Junction 14 and many local school choirs. The choirs and bands raised a brilliant £7,707.25 in total. Sam Crooks, Appeal Organiser said “We love working with intu Milton Keynes each year and all charities are very grateful for the opportunity given to them to raise vital funds. We could not do any of this without the exceptional generosity of the people of Milton Keynes and for this we are extremely grateful. The money raised from both the Gift Wrapping station and carolling will help each organisation tremendously.” 6EEC765FFA292BCCCDC000289CEFE64C Tue, 09 Jan 2018 03:00:48 +0000 The Parks Trust reflects on 2017 as it begins 2018 The Parks Trust, the self-financing charity that cares for over 6,000 acres of Milton Keynes’ green spaces, has reflected on its highlights from the past year. It was an exciting 2017 for the Trust, with the completion of a £2.8million investment into Willen Lake and the opening of the new Splash ‘n’ Play splash park. The Parks Trust’s events team organised and enabled over 500 events and activities in the parkland, many of which were held to celebrate the city’s 50th anniversary. David Foster, Chief Executive of The Parks Trust, said: “We think it is very important to reflect on our successes and highlights as we move from one year to the next; and what a year 2017 was! With everything from our core work of managing the parks and landscapes to new events, MK50 birthday celebrations to a royal visit it was action-packed throughout, with plenty for everyone to enjoy. “We look forward to an exciting 2018, with a fantastic programme of projects and events.” The Parks Trust – 10 Highlights of 2017 The Parks Trust organised a series of events and activities to celebrate the city’s 50th birthday. The Trust also established a permanent marked 25-mile challenge walk across its glorious parkland. It has already been well used by local charities and good causes for sponsored walks. The Trust invested £2.8million into Willen Lake and opened Splash ‘n’ Play, one of the UK’s largest outdoor splash parks with over 70 water features. Four wild Konik ponies were introduced to the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve in May to graze the area and help maintain a diverse landscape. Three members of the Trust’s Operations team; Rob Riekie, Colin Savage, and Mark Colton celebrated 25 years at The Parks Trust. The Parks Trust partnered with the Environment Agency and Wild Trout Trust to create a 30-metre-long refuge in times of flood for fish along the River Ouzel at Woughton. The Trust worked with Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust and Milton Keynes Natural History Society to present the city’s first ever week-long Festival of Nature. In July, The Parks Trust received the prestigious Green Flag Award for all of the parks, woodlands and lakes we manage across Milton Keynes. Community groups from across the city used the parkland for a variety of diverse events, including MK Hindu Association’s Mela, African Diaspora Day and Filipino Festival. The Duke of Cambridge visited Campbell Park in September as part of a special visit to celebrate the city’s 50th birthday. The Outdoor Learning Team worked with around 6,000 schoolchildren throughout the year, and now offers the John Muir award to groups across Milton Keynes. For more information, please visit 523DF5A6DB0544F3600434B9FFE68367 Wed, 03 Jan 2018 03:14:39 +0000 Oh Happy Day! Sister Act Live Choir comes to MK Sister Act, the classic 1992 musical comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg, is the latest film to receive the ‘live cinema’ treatment with the ‘Sister Act Live Choir’, UK Tour presented by Amacoast Cinema - the production comes to Milton Keynes Theatre on Saturday 10th February. Film fans have been clamouring for pop-ups and live cinema experiences in recent years, as audiences look for new, innovative ways to enjoy the films they know and films that will turn into instant classics. Sister Act fans from across the UK will be immersed in a fresh new cinematic, musical experience. Recently some of the iconic original cast members reunited for an incredible choir performance to celebrate the film’s 25th year anniversary and it’s fitting that the tour kicks off in the celebratory year. Sister Act Live Choir will boast a full-piece choir and band, as they accompany the onscreen nuns with live performances of songs from the film’s original soundtrack. “We are delighted to be touring this powerful and uplifting live cinema experience” says founder, Dele Aro. The show has had two successful, sold out runs in London in Autumn 2016 and April 2017. Dele added “We were delighted to see the shows connect such a large diverse group of people, to share in a unique experience and create new memories around a much-loved film”. Sister Act tells the hilarious story of Vegas lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier (played by Whoopi Goldberg), who after witnessing a murder at the hands of her boyfriend has to enter witness protection to avoid a similar fate. She turns to the one place that she hopes he will never look - a Convent! Disguised as a nun Deloris woefully tries to adopt her new lifestyle and after several false starts, she finally finds her voice at the heart of the church choir. “Whether you’re a Sister Act fan or not, the soundtrack is amazing and the nuns sing with so much soul” says show Choir Director, Lovedale Harrison. Sister Act Live Choir includes live performances of original film soundtrack favourites such as ‘Hail Holy Queen’, ‘My Guy (My God)’ and ‘I Will Follow Him’. Sister Act Live Choir will feature the Uplifted Voices choir for the show, who have featured on BBC Gospel Proms, and provided backing choirs for the live shows on ITV’s The Voice, Britain’s Got Talent, and The X Factor shows. One of the lead signers from Uplifted Voices’ is the super talented Diamantina, who was born in Germany of Kosovan parents. From refugee to rising star, Diamantina has found her strength and confidence in music and performance, and Sister Act Live Choir has enabled her to share her talents with a much wider audience. There will also be a special guest performance from Britain’s Got Talent Semi-finalist’s ‘Gospel Singers Incognito’ (GSI). Sister Act Live Choir will be an experience which unites and electrifies the audience while bringing a classic to life across the UK and Ireland! A851BD0D418B13310DD1E5E3AC7318AB Wed, 03 Jan 2018 04:35:30 +0000 Become an MK Gallery Family in Residence 2018 MK Gallery seeks families from across Milton Keynes to take part in its 2018 Family-in-Residence programme. The Gallery is offering local families a unique and exciting opportunity to work with an artist to explore their creative interests. As a Family-in-Residence, your family will be supported by an MK Gallery Associate Artist over three months as you have fun imagining, experimenting and testing new ideas, materials and processes. You will then commission your artist to put on an event - inspired by your ideas - for your friends and other families to enjoy. Throughout your residency, your artist will help to inspire your creative thinking, explore possibilities, shape your ideas and guide your decisions. MK Gallery’s Associate Artists are friendly and passionate about nurturing the creativity of others. They are experienced at working with a diverse range of people and ages. The artist will be specially selected to suit your family and provide a safe and positive environment for you to get creative in. You’ll have two meet ups with your artist before the final event at the end of your residency. The Family-in-Residence programme is flexible and each experience is tailored to meet the availability, needs and interests of the family. Speaking about the Family-in-Residence programme, a previous participant said: “We really had a ball…it was an amazing opportunity for my children to build confidence and teach them how to run an event. This will help them in the future with any working environment. I think it's amazing…thank you so much.” To find out more or to express your family’s interest, please email, stating who your family are and why you’d like to take part. 03CA3C0B0FF4FF69A7AEC17953D03E0C Wed, 03 Jan 2018 04:43:49 +0000 Building new history at Milton Keynes Museum Milton Keynes Museum has moved closer to realising its expansion dreams – with the formal handing over of keys to the new galleries to museum director Bill Griffiths. And though the ancient and new Milton Keynes galleries won't open yet, members of the public will get a chance to preview them in 2018 when the museum uses them for hosting a series of temporary exhibitions. Milton Keynes is an extraordinary new city, and one that has become home to a quarter of a million people from all over the UK and the world. From its flourishing green spaces to its massive economic success, Milton Keynes is a city where dreams are realised - but it is also a place with a rich, significant historical tapestry. In the same year that Milton Keynes celebrated 50 years since designation, the museum has been working towards realising one of the visions in the city's original masterplan - to have a museum to collect, maintain and share the area's internationally significant heritage. Plans for the ambitious £7.2m expansion were originally announced in early 2015, with the aim of telling the whole story of our local heritage, from pre-history right up to the present. The ancient gallery will bring back the area's rich archaeology – from pre-history to the 1800s; from the discovery of the UK’s largest Bronze Age roundhouse to the first marriage of King to commoner. The modern gallery will celebrate our successes, lament our failures, and recognise the part we’ve all played in transforming a corner of Buckinghamshire countryside into the biggest and boldest experiment in building a new community. And one where a 'can do' attitude leads the way. With the gallery buildings now complete, fundraising is continuing to enable the museum to fill the spectacular spaces with the elements and items that bring our past to life. The museum is aiming to open its ancient gallery first, in spring 2019. In the meantime, among the exhibitions local people can look forward to seeing in the exciting new buildings – the Staffordshire Hoard - the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found, is already confirmed for the summer of 2018. People can help the museum realise its remaining £1.5 million target by donating on the museum's JustGiving page or in person at the museum. Said Bill: “We’re so proud of what we’ve already achieved with the help of our lead partners at Milton Keynes Council who helped fund and plan the expansion, to our builders, Willmott Dixon, who went over and above at every stage, and to our amazing architect John Leonard at Nicholas Hare. “Also to the organisations who’ve already helped fund the expansion – Garfield Weston, the Englefield and Radcliffe Trust – many individuals who’ve contributed, plus all our volunteers who continue to make the museum what it is.” “The new galleries will be something of which Milton Keynes can be truly proud – a permanent record and tribute to all who have and will come here.” DDFA8A1FA86914072EB6E3E55C253856 Tue, 02 Jan 2018 02:00:53 +0000 The Bus Shelter MK wins intu Chairman’s prize The founder of The Bus Shelter MK, Tom Davis, was given a cheque for £4,000 last week by intu’s chairman, John Strachan and Alexander Nicoll, corporate responsibility director. Each year, all 14 intu shopping centres across the UK are invited to enter a charitable community initiative they have supported during the year, for the chance to win the ‘chairman’s prize’, with a top prize of £4,000. intu Milton Keynes entered The Bus Shelter MK, which the centre launched and helped by raising close to £60,000 to date. Everyone at intu Milton Keynes and The Bus Shelter MK were delighted to hear that their partnership had won the top prize. John Strachan said, “All the entries this year were top class but the intu Milton Keynes submission about their partnership with Tom Davis and The Bus Shelter MK was the standout winner. Alexander Nicoll and I were very impressed by what Tom set out to achieve and proud that everyone at intu Milton Keynes contributed so much to make Tom’s vision a reality.” John Strachan visited Milton Keynes to personally hand Tom Davis and Pam Williams, chairman of The Bus Shelter MK, the £4,000. Tom, formerly homeless himself said: “We are incredibly grateful to intu for this fantastic award and for John and Alexander coming to Milton Keynes to talk to us and understand what we’re trying to achieve, this is the perfect way to end a wonderful year.” The Bus Shelter MK, an ex-touring double decker bus formerly used by Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart, will provide shelter and a means forwashing and cooking for the homeless. It will also offer advice and a path into employment by providing each person with a postcode that will help give homeless people in Milton Keynes a better chance in life and hope for the future. The Bus Shelter MK will open for use in early 2018. 543378FB36A83810DED2D725F2B6C883 Tue, 02 Jan 2018 02:11:01 +0000 Your 5p makes a difference at Frosts Garden Centres Just over two years ago, on the 5 October 2015, the law changed and required large shops in England to charge 5p for all single-use plastic carrier bags, in order to reduce the waste which they create. Most people are now stocking up on bags for life and the use of single-use carrier bags has dropped a whopping 85% since the 5p charge was introduced and Frosts Garden Centres are one of those businesses who have noticed a huge drop in single use carrier bag sales. For those Frosts customers who still use single use carrier bags, or for those who forget to pick up their bags for life, 5p carrier bags can still be purchased but that 5p now goes a long way. This year, Frosts Garden Centres in Willington, Millets Farm, Woburn Sands and Brampton have been saving their 5p carrier bag sales and rather than pocketing the change, have decided to donate it all to a charity of each centres choices. So far, Willington have donated £309.10 to BDHRA (Bedford Disabled Horse Riding Association), a charity dedicated to improving the lives of people through education, therapy and fun. Millets Farm have donated £908.70 to the Helen & Douglas House and £908.70 to The Motor Neurone Disease Society. Woburn Sands has donated £1438.20 to Emily’s Star who raise awareness of Trisomy 18 which is the UK's 2nd most common syndrome and £500 to Hula which is an animal rescue welfare charity providing sanctuary for dogs, cats or other domestic animals until new homes can be found and finally Brampton have raised £382.65 for the Huntingdon Rotary Club. “Although carrier bag sales have dropped significantly, our shoppers do still need to buy the odd bag and we encourage them to reuse that 5p bag as much as possible,” says Managing Director James Frost. “We decided to donate our bag sales to local charities across all centres this year and it has been fantastic to be able to donate to so many organisations.” So next time shoppers are at Frosts Garden Centre and have forget their trusty bag for life, they can rest assured that their 5p will be going to a good cause. BDC6C33585D0CF5D2A8CB83141CD037F Tue, 02 Jan 2018 02:19:46 +0000 Debenhams ups its beauty game at intu Milton Keynes Debenhams has cemented its position as the go-to place for beauty in Milton Keynes with the introduction of three new major brands in the past few weeks. Already boasting brands such as Lancôme, M.A.C Cosmetics, Urban Decay and Clarins, the department store has gained a further three beauty brands in time for Christmas; Dior, Make Up For Ever and NYX. Dior Backstage Studio is just one of five counters in the UK, and the beautiful new zone gives shoppers the full VIP experience. With a whole host of brand new, industry standard make up on offer, Dior fans can book a free consultation where a Dior make up artists gives advice on skin type and products, all whilst sipping on a complimentary glass of Moet champagne. To book a consultation, either head in-store and talk to the Dior team or call 01908 295507. The second brand to join the Debenhams beauty department is Make Up For Ever. The brand, which was founded in Paris in 1984 by Dany Sanz is set to be a huge hit with shoppers as it boasts an enormous counter filled with hundreds of industry standard products, including a lip line designed by Jessie J.  Make Up For Ever has been known to be the go-to colour brand for beauty professionals and make up enthusiasts around the world and gives todays women access to all the products of the pro make up artists around the world. Finally, a brand which is already loved by beauty bloggers, celebrities and the public a like is NYX Professional Make Up. The new counter is the third to join Debenhams in the last few months and it boasts a fantastic range of make up which is both professional and affordable. The brand, which was founded in LA in 2010 by Toni Ko is now part of the Loreal family and is sold in over 80 countries worldwide. The new counter can be found near the fragrance department and offers everything from their famous eye shadow palettes and lip kits to foundation and face glitter which is perfect for the festive season! Shelley Peppard, general manager at intu Milton Keynes said, “It is great to have even more variety now available within the Debenhams beauty department. As our largest retailer, Debenhams is a fantastic store which has something for everyone and the beauty offering on the first floor is outstanding. I think all three brands will do really well in store and I cant wait to see what else Debenhams have to offer in the New Year.” 32E19424B63CC63077A4031B87FB1010 Tue, 19 Dec 2017 12:57:09 +0000 Jersey Boys all set to visit Milton Keynes Theatre Full casting has been announced the second UK & Ireland tour of JERSEY BOYS, coming to Milton Keynes Theatre, Tuesday 23 January – Saturday 3 February. The producers are delighted to announce that Michael Watson will be playing Frankie Valli, Simon Bailey will be Tommy De Vito, Declan Egan will be Bob Gaudio and Lewis Griffiths will be Nick Massi.  Michael, Simon, Declan and Lewis have all previously performed their roles in JERSEY BOYS to great acclaim: Michael and Simon in the West End, Declan in the West End and Australia, and Lewis in the first UK and Ireland tour.  Dayle Hodge will return to the production to play Frankie Valli at certain performances. Michael Watson made his West End debut in We Will Rock You and was also in the original London casts of Imagine This, Sister Act and Shrek the Musical. A founder member of theatre super-group Teatro, Simon Bailey also played Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera.  His other West End credits include I Can’t Sing: The X Factor Musical and We Will Rock You. Declan Egan played the role of Bob Gaudio in JERSEY BOYS in his native Australia and has toured the USA in The Book Of Mormon.  Lewis Griffiths played Johnny Castle in the recent tour of Dirty Dancing.  He also appeared in the original UK touring productions of Ghost – The Musical and Legally Blonde – The Musical.  Dayle Hodge made his West End debut as Chip in the original London cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and has appeared in Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Scrooge. The cast also includes Joel Elferink as Bob Crewe, James Alexander Gibbs as Joey, Mark Heenehan as Gyp DeCarlo, Karl James-Wilson as Norm Waxman, Arnold Mabhena as Barry Belson, Phoebe May Newman as Francine, Olive Robinson as Lorraine, James Winter as Hank Majewski and Tara Young as Mary Delgado.  Completing the cast will be Peter Nash, Dan O’Brien, Stephen O’Riain and Amy Thiroff. JERSEY BOYS first opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on 18 March 2008 and moved to the Piccadilly Theatre in March 2014. The Olivier Award-winning West End production closed on Sunday 26 March 2017 following nine amazing years in London. The first UK & Ireland Tour of JERSEY BOYS was a record-breaking success and ran for 18 months, from 4 September 2014 to 5 March 2016. JERSEY BOYS is the remarkable true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks.  These four boys from New Jersey became one of the most successful bands in pop history, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and sold 175 million records worldwide, all before they turned 30.  The show is packed with their hits, including Beggin’, Sherry, Walk Like A Man, December, 1963 (Oh What a Night), Big Girls Don’t Cry, My Eyes Adored You, Let’s Hang On (To What We’ve Got), Bye Bye Baby, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Working My Way Back to You, Fallen Angel, Rag Doll and Who Loves You. Winner of Broadway’s Tony, London’s Olivier and Australia’s Helpmann Awards for Best New Musical, JERSEY BOYS is the winner of 57 major awards worldwide and has been seen by over 25 million people worldwide.  JERSEY BOYS can currently be seen across the United States on its US National Tour.  The BROADWAY production closed on 15 January 2017 as the 12th longest running show in Broadway history.  JERSEY BOYS will return to New York City in a new production in November 2017 at New World Stages. LISTINGS Performances: Tue 23 January – Sat 3 February. Mon – Sat 7.30pm, Thu & Sat mat 2.30pm Price: Tickets from £18 Box Office: 0844 871 7652* Groups 10+: 0333 009 5393 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. 4AE61B10179243BBBD49128329DDC145 Tue, 19 Dec 2017 01:03:54 +0000 intu MK helps to launch Green Gym TCV, the community volunteering charity, launched the Green Gym in Milton Keynes in partnership with intu Milton Keynes and Milton Keynes Council yesterday, 29 November.   For 10 years TVC have worked with intu to restore and enhance green spaces up and down the country through the Green Gym initiative. Green Gyms offer volunteers the opportunity to take part in practical nature conservation sessions whilst improving their health and wellbeing. Volunteers can participate in a wide range of tasks which could include managing woodland, food growing, creating wildflower gardens and wildlife ponds, planting trees, making pathways and so much more. Each Session will run for 3 hours, allowing you to do as much or as little as you like, there is no obligation.  At the beginning of each session and at the end everyone does a few minutes of gentle exercise to warm up and cool down, in preparation for a range of activities to suit all abilities. And there’s a sociable tea break in the middle of every session. Ben Hammond, TCV Operational Leader said: “We are hugely excited to have launched the intu Milton Keynes Green Gym yesterday. We will be enhancing four local green spaces, whilst improving our wellbeing. Now that the sun is shining we want everyone to join in and feel good. The great thing about the Green Gym is that participants not only benefit from better mental health and wellbeing, but the community ends up with a better outdoor space for everyone to enjoy. This scheme will really help to create a healthier and happier community for everyone and we can’t wait to get started!” Kirsty McGiff, intu Milton Keynes Marketing Manager said: “intu have worked with The Conservation Volunteers for over 10 years, supporting local people to improve community green spaces and ensure they become independently-run, volunteer-led initiatives. We are really pleased to bring this new Green Gym to Milton Keynes and I look forward to helping with some of the forthcoming activities. Delivering this kind of sustainable project means that as each Green Gym becomes independent, we can work with TCV to move our support to new locations, helping even more people.” Date: Every Tuesday from 5th December 2017 Time: 10:45am  - 2:00pm Location: Please see monthly programme Contact: Emma Eteen, 07740 899633, F6E25176C96F7D7C8C7D74FF8BABEE5D Wed, 13 Dec 2017 03:30:13 +0000 Snow guaranteed for Milton Keynes this January! The much-loved production of THE SNOWMAN, which has been touring the globe for over twenty years, will bring a flurry of magic and entertainment for all the family to Milton Keynes Theatre from Wednesday 17 – Saturday 20 January.  This ever-sparkling production transports children into the wintery wonderland of a boy and his magical snowman with a mix of enchanting dancing and live music – including the famous title song, Waking in the Air. A unique friendship is formed as the boy and his snowman take a starry-skied adventure to the North Pole where they meet a host of colourful characters including dancing penguins, reindeer, Father Christmas and the infamous Jack Frost. Expect larger-than-life costumes, sparkling set designs and magical effects that combine to bring this childhood favourite to life, live on stage. THE SNOWMAN is the perfect introduction to the world of theatre for young children and the ideal festive treat for both young and old. Based on the book by Raymond Briggs and the film directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates, THE SNOWMAN is a much-loved festive tradition of storytelling and spectacle and magic. The Birmingham Repertory Theatre production has music and lyrics by Howard Blake, choreography by Robert North, direction by Bill Alexander, design by Ruari Murchison and lighting by Tim Mitchell. Composer Howard Blake said; “The Snowman never fails to delight audiences and is a great introduction to the world of dance and theatre for young children. Children continue to be enchanted with the show’s story and characters and it is wonderful to see families return year after year.” By arrangement with Snowman Enterprises Limited (A Penguin Company) and Chester Music Limited. Suitable for all ages. LISTINGS INFORMATION Performances: Wed 17 – Sat 20 Jan. Wed – Sat 7pm, Thu – Sat mat 2pm & Sat 10.30am Price: Tickets from £20 Box Office: 0844 871 7652* Groups 10+: 0333 009 5393 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. 7B7916DD2DE56297AA29CCCB2BBF48D4 Thu, 07 Dec 2017 02:21:17 +0000 Explore the outdoors this season with The Parks Trust’s Winter Wanders The Parks Trust, the self-financing charity that manages and maintains over 6,000 acres of Milton Keynes’ green space, is launching ‘Winter Wanders’, a fun and seasonal exploration of the city’s parks, lakes and landscapes. There will be private sessions available for local schools and community groups during the winter months. They will be able to learn about the city’s native wildlife in a fun and interactive style. Throughout the experience, there will be nature related challenges to bring participants closer to the natural world. These sessions will be hands on and include quizzes and sensory activities in a local Parks Trust site chosen by the group, at a time to suit them. A small fee of £3 per head will be required per group. For more information and booking, please contact Nicky Saunders on 01908 233600 or In addition, on Wednesday 20th December there will be two Winter Wanders events open to the public, predominantly aimed at families and those with children. Held in Campbell Park, these will provide the perfect opportunity for children to find out more about the winter environment in between the Christmas shopping! The public events will feature similar activities to the group sessions, and tickets will need to be booked in advance through with a small fee of £3 per head payable. All proceeds from the Winter Wanders programme will go to help the Trust’s charitable work caring for the parks in Milton Keynes. Nicky Saunders, Environmental Education Co-ordinator, commented: “It may surprise people to know that there is still plenty of wildlife active during the winter months! We wanted to hold these seasonal sessions to encourage local people and groups to head outside and explore the world around them. “Sessions are available for groups of all ages and backgrounds, and can be held all over the city. And for those who want to give children a break from the hustle and bustle of the shopping centre, our public events at Campbell Park will be a real treat.” For more information please visit B90C46963248E6D7AAB1E0F429743CA0 Wed, 06 Dec 2017 03:20:35 +0000 Safari MK soft play and party venue wins national award Safari MK, based in Kiln Farm, Milton Keynes has won a UK national award for excellence in food and beverage.  The awards were run by BALPPA, (The British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers & Attractions)*   The judges were looking for well-presented innovative menus supported by exceptional food and service. They wanted to see consideration for special dietary needs, leisure industry trends, healthy eating options along with the organisation’s approach to training and development of the food and beverage team.  They were also looking for venues with consistently high standards of health and safety, hygiene and cleanliness. “The vision from when we started designing Safari MK 4 years ago was to create something unique both in Milton Keynes and within the indoor play industry.  We wanted families to want to come and eat together as well as play.  The whole team work so hard every day to keep this dream alive and they fully deserve this recognition” Gordon Forster, Managing Director and Owner. *BALPPA have been supporting the UK Leisure Industry for over 80 years, this leisure association is recognised by the leisure industry worldwide and recognised by the British Government, prides itself on being a driving force for safety and overall practices of excellence within the leisure industry. The Family Entertainment Centre (FEC) or Indoor Soft Play Centre awards known as the BALPPA FEC EXCELLENCE AWARDS were judged by an independent panel of experts from across the leisure industry including a mystery shopper analysis. Safari MK opened in October 2014 and is a family owned and run venue.  They have a large 3 tier play frame including separate sections for babies, under 4s and 4 - 12 year olds, a football pitch, didicar track, 4 role play rooms and an interactive floor room.  They also specialise in themed parties including Princess, Pirate, Football, Glow in the Dark, Superhero and ‘Make your own Buddy Bear’ parties.  You can also have an after-hours party to play laser tag in the play frame with exclusive use. 09DBC1177211571EF3E1CA961CC39363 Tue, 05 Dec 2017 11:45:13 +0000 Cotels launches new serviced apartment concept Cotels, a leading provider of serviced apartments in Milton Keynes, Northampton and Luton, has officially launched its brand new serviced apartment concept, 7Zero1, at 701 South Fifth Street in Milton Keynes. Marcia Gomez, Managing Director of Cotels said: “We’re incredibly excited to have launched this new flagship venture, showcasing the best of Cotels with our fresh branding, stellar customer service and unique serviced apartment offering.” “Led by feedback from our existing guests, we have created 7Zero1 with a strong focus on wellbeing and fitness. This trend is as prominent as ever, particularly amongst business guests looking to combat the negative health effects that frequent travelling can incur. “At 7Zero1 we’ve taken fitness a step further than most, kitting out each apartment with equipment such as a Ninja Blender, yoga mat, hand weights and a swiss ball. Of course, you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to stay at 7Zero1 – each apartment has a comfy sofa and Smart TV, with full Sky Package including Sports and Movies, if you just want to kick back and relax!” 7Zero1 has also partnered with nearby gym The Fitness Space Milton Keynes, to offer guests special membership discounts. The branded self-contained serviced apartment building is made up of one and two-bedroom apartments with two penthouse suites, Turing and Webber. These were named through a social media competition, after key Milton Keynes figures. All apartments are finished to an exceptional standard with other key features including a fully equipped designer kitchen, Smart TV with full Sky Package including Sports and Movies, unlimited Wi-Fi, Hypnos mattress and hypoallergenic bedding and cotton sheets from The Fine Bedding Company. 7Zero1 is also the first serviced apartment offering in Milton Keynes to offer a secure 24-hour automated key collection facility, providing guests with easy, hassle free access with maximum security. Unique codes are provided to guests that can be used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making the guests’ journey to their apartment a stress-free process. Guests will also benefit from a YourWelcome tablet which will be full of useful local information, including maps, city guides and recommendations. 7Zero1 will operate under a leasing agreement with experienced property development and management company, Jadefine. Cotels is a leading regional provider of executive serviced apartments in Milton Keynes, Luton and Northampton. Operating high quality apartments, Cotels properties are ideal for the corporate traveller looking for the luxury of a hotel with the convenience and comfort of a home. For more information visit: 1330FEF5FE4F742C1918C585C2DA13B3 Wed, 29 Nov 2017 12:20:37 +0000 New Year, new theatrical season at MK Theatre New Year, new theatrical season! It’s time to start making resolutions for 2018, and maybe seeing more theatre will be on your list? If so, Milton Keynes Theatre might have just the fix. With a feast of musical premieres, magical dance pieces, and exciting talent gracing the stage, the year looks to be gearing up for marathon of entertainment. Smash-hit musicals from the West End are taking to our stage in the New Year. Prepare to feel the earth move under your feet with the inspiring true story, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Tom Chambers (Strictly Come Dancing winner) and Claire Sweeney have got rhythm in the romantic comedy Crazy For You, and you’ll be Beggin’ to see the stage sensation, Jersey Boys. There’s also a variety of new musicals in the pipeline with Fat Friends The Musical, starring Jodie Prenger (BBC’s I’d Do Anything) and Sam Bailey (X Factor), and the timeless 80s classic An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical. The family fun never stops at Milton Keynes Theatre.  There’s plenty of excitement ahead with the stage adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, Peppa Pig’s Adventure, and the return of everyone’s favourite green ogre in Shrek The Musical. Also make sure you hold onto your pigtails, as the first ever UK Tour of the multi award-winning Matilda The Musical, sees Roald Dahl’s much loved story come to life. Lovers of dance are also in for a treat with two gorgeous ballets to look forward to, from the classic war-time adaptation Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, to a beautiful retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale with Northern Ballet’s The Little Mermaid. They are bound to be en pointe. Strictly sensations Anton & Erin are also waltzing back into our hearts with their newest ballroom extravaganza From Broadway to Hollywood. The National Theatre continues to provide world class entertainment, and are offering not one, but two shows, with the sensational story of War Horse, and the Ibsen classic Hedda Gabler. There is also a host of one night events to thrill theatregoers. Relive the music of generations past with Paul Carrack, The Magic of the Beatles, Icons of the 80s, and Fastlove – A Tribute to George Michael. Prepare to laugh until you cry with some of the biggest names in comedy, from Katherine Ryan, to Flight of the Conchords and Brian Conley. Or why not enjoy the musical excitement of Beyond The Barricade, and the Sister Act Live Choir. TO BOOK FOR ANY OF THE ABOVE SHOWS - CALL MILTON KEYNES THEATRE BOX OFFICE 0844 871 7652 OR VISIT 0CBC5671AE26F67871CB914D81EF8FC1 Wed, 29 Nov 2017 03:41:13 +0000 Milton Keynes Museum makes a song and dance about important collection Five thousand years of musical heritage from 200 UK collections have been brought together for the first time in a project led by the Royal College of Music – and Milton Keynes Museum is playing its role. More than 70 items from the Wolverton-based history hub are included in the major new website which documents 20,000 historically significant musical instruments. MIMIM-UK is a virtual museum featuring sound, pictures and information about the UK's most important instruments. Examples from Milton Keynes Museum include a flute (circa 1790), a century old guitar-zither, a 1913 triangle from Hanslope and a wooden rattle (1939). Other items of note include a mandolin, accordion, symphonium, gramophone, and a cheeky clapping monkey automaton! Kazoos, castanets and harmonicas and even handbells also figure, together with the museum's ever-popular pianola. “We are incredibly proud to be able to share our wonderful collection of instruments with people who otherwise might not be able to enjoy them,” said museum director Bill Griffiths. “It's fabulous to be included in this new online tool courtesy of the Royal College of Music, and shows the historical importance of those items in our care. “Naturally it is worth making a song and dance about!” Gabriele Rossi Rognoni, curator of the Royal College of Music Museum said: “These instruments are an important part of our national heritage. It is tremendously exciting to enable so many people to connect with these beautiful and fascinating objects in a myriad of new ways.” The full collection can be viewed at: (Search collections and Milton Keynes Museum for the full list) For more information visit the museum's website 67F36D6C644A9701979D7059161F3546 Mon, 27 Nov 2017 11:49:15 +0000 Superhumans coming to MK in 2018 ‘The Superhumans’ will be the biggest, heaviest Disabled Strongman event there has been in the sport’s 15 year existence and the event is coming to the Arena MK on 8th July 2018. This event will be the first time the sport has been held in such an arena. The best Strongmen from around the world will be coming to Milton Keynes to compete in five spectacular events: The Truck Pull A Quadbike Viking Press (see Disabled men press a 160kg quadbike above their heads as many times as they can) A Car Hercules Hold (see Disabled men hold two cars in place with only their hands, longest time wins) A Barrel Load Dead Lift (with each successful lift, another 50kg Barrel will be added. 7 successful lifts will equal 350kg) The Atlas Stones (two world record Atlas Stones on the day, so there could be world records broken!) Tickets are at a great price: Children £5, Disabled/Serving Soldiers/Veterans £10, Adults £15, VIP £40 (inc. programme, tshirt, meet & greet with the athletes and access to the after party) Purchase tickets via EventBrite on or to get in touch, please contact Mark Smith at or the event page 77772713A7D7E02B10CA9BD90E4F6A31 Wed, 08 Nov 2017 05:29:34 +0000 MK Gallery programme to support young people with complex needs MK Gallery is extending its role in improving access to culture. The Gallery has been successful in securing funding to support a new inclusive programme targeting young people with complex needs and their families. The programme is generously supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and MK Community Foundation. Inclusive Practice in the Arts will develop the expertise, confidence and capacity of the MK Gallery team and Associate Artists to deliver a stimulating, challenging and enjoyable programme of art explorations and activities, engaging families with a child or children with physical or learning disability. Inclusive Practice in the Arts is being developed in recognition of the unique needs of, and strains experienced by, families with a child or children with complex needs. The three-year programme builds upon MK Gallery's expertise in 'whole family' programming and the Gallery's long-term partnership with Hastings-based organisation, Project Art Works, working to create meaningful arts engagement with individuals with profound disabilities. From spring 2018, the programme will deliver weekly workshops to enable families to work directly with an artist with specialist training in complex needs, allowing family members to enjoy spending time together in an environment which is creative, accessible, fun and understanding of everyone’s needs. MK Gallery is currently undergoing a major expansion which is due for completion during the second year of the Inclusive Practice in the Arts programme. The main gallery building will reopen in early 2019 with state-of-the-art access facilities funded by MK Community Foundation and generous individuals. The expanded MK Gallery will include access 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. These provisions will hugely enhance the experience of visiting MK Gallery and the Changing Places toilet will open up the venue to an entirely new audience that is currently unable to make extended visits to the Gallery. MK Gallery Director Anthony Spira, speaking about the new programme said: ‘Having the support of Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Milton Keynes Community Foundation to deliver this transformative programme is fantastic. Their support enables us to bring in specialist expertise and train artists and other staff to provide a positive experience of the arts for absolutely everyone regardless of their level of need. For families with a family member with complex needs, the opportunity to enjoy a high quality creative activities together is very rare, which makes the new Inclusive Practice in the Arts programme all the more important. We are delighted to be delivering this crucial work as part of our commitment to providing the very best arts experiences for all.’ Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive of Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said ‘At Paul Hamlyn Foundation, because we see the difference it makes to people’s lives, we believe access to the arts is a right, not a privilege, and we are interested in opening up opportunities to as wide and diverse a group of people as possible. We recognise that disabled people, and especially those with complex needs, often face barriers to taking part in arts activities and that is why we are backing MK Gallery’s ‘Inclusive Practice in the Arts’ programme. The ‘whole family’ approach should allow the positive impact of creativity to be experienced much more widely, and we are delighted to see it in our portfolio of grants supporting best practice and innovation in the arts.’ Ian Revell, CEO of the Milton Keynes Community Foundation said ‘MK Community Foundation is proud to partner with MK Gallery by co-funding this ambitious and innovative project with Paul Hamlyn Foundation. This project is designed for young people with complex needs and their families to engage with a high-quality arts programme. MK Gallery has a long and impressive track record of delivering quality arts projects and we have every expectation that they will produce a first rate programme that will benefit many local families and leave a positive impact on the cultural life of Milton Keynes.’ MK Gallery will recruit a Curator of Inclusion to support the delivery of Inclusive Practice in the Arts. The Curator of Inclusion will work alongside MK Gallery’s award-winning learning team. For more information about the role, please visit D00498D9F077780F5BE58D0956CE0458 Sun, 05 Nov 2017 11:58:55 +0000 Bletchley Park to open significant WW2 building in 2018 Bletchley Park has announced that it will open one of its World War Two buildings to the public in Easter 2018, with a permanent exhibition telling the story of the Bombes in the actual location that housed the machines which broke Enigma. Four years on from the last opening of renovated buildings at the Buckinghamshire museum, visitors will now be able to step foot inside Hut 11A. Here, a major new exhibition titled Hut 11A: The Bombe Breakthrough will explain in detail the challenge posed by Enigma and explore how Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman and others devised a machine to help solve it. Using the museum’s Oral History archive and historic objects, it will also consider how this contribution to the success of Allied signals intelligence had a significant impact on the course of WW2. Wartime objects on display will include original blueprints and components, decrypted Nazi messages and the W.R.N.S visitors’ book signed by key figures in the Bletchley Park story, including the GPO engineer Tommy Flowers. Some of the documents in the exhibition have never been seen by the public before. Huts 11 and 11A were amongst several wartime buildings that housed Bombe machines, but they are the only ones located within the Bletchley Park site. Iain Standen, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, said: “For the first time our visitors will be able to learn how the Bombes helped to break the Enigma cipher in one of the buildings that housed the incredible machines designed by Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman and others. We last opened newly renovated historic buildings in 2014, with Block C and Huts 3 and 6, and so this will be a significant development for the museum. We are excited by the opportunity to tell the full story of the Bombes in such an iconic location. Our visitors will not only understand the role of engineering in this key World War Two development, but thanks to our archive of Oral History interviews, they will hear from the very people who were involved in the wartime endeavour.” Dermot Turing, nephew of Alan Turing and Trustee of Bletchley Park, said: “In recent years the work that Alan Turing carried out during WW2 has become widely known, but there is still so much of the story left to tell. In particular, I am delighted that we now have the chance to explain the key roles played by others in breaking the Enigma cipher, and telling the whole fascinating story in a new and lively way. I have no doubt that the opportunity to learn in detail about the Bombes in the actual building where some of the machines were housed will be a powerful experience for visitors to Bletchley Park.” Heritage Minister John Glen said: “The Bletchley Park codebreakers played a pivotal role in the outcome of the Second World War and the technology they pioneered shaped how we live today. Opening up Hut 11A to the public will inspire even more people to learn about how their incredible work changed the world." 76B605730BD2606BBCB290F1244DAC9A Tue, 31 Oct 2017 03:33:39 +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