Latest News Latest News /News/Latest-News Fri, 23 Mar 2018 08:44:27 +0000 Fri, 23 Mar 2018 08:44:27 +0000 Lost World Golf announces opening date! Mr Mulligan’s latest venture, Lost World Golf – Milton Keynes, will be opening the doors on 27TH APRIL 2018 at 12th Street. In recent times, the old Theatre District has been rebranded as 12th Street, with some fantastic restaurants and leisure venues opening their doors. That portfolio has just got even stronger with the 10th Mr Mulligan venue just a few weeks away from their opening night. What should we expect? Two superbly-designed indoor adventure golf courses, bar a restaurant and party room captured from some of Mr Mulligan’s finest memories. One of Mr Mulligan’s workers had this to say; “Grab your snorkel and dive into the Underwater Kingdom, a 12-hole mystery amongst the darkest of sea creatures… and f that’s not enough, enter the Enchanted Forest, one of the UK’s more unique adventure courses, a story through the eyes of “Alice in Wonderland” dodging the giant toadstools, caterpillars and tree stumps”. But it doesn’t stop there people! This unique venue will be operating a superb restaurant, seating up to 150 people, offering a variety of meals including pizzas, burgers, salads and sharing plates! Delicious! We welcome children’s parties, school bookings and family days out, not to mention those spectacular corporate events and Christmas parties! For the more mature adventurers, the late-night bar will be offering mystical cocktails and alcoholic slushees with an on-course waiter service to help you concur your fears through the forest. Whether you are 2 or 82 years old, let your imagination flow and take a smile into the Lost World. Available to book from mid-April – or 45E03F0F460F42940FAEBD081950BF57 Wed, 21 Mar 2018 01:50:55 +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 Xscape Milton Keynes announces two new stores Landsec’s leisure destination Xscape Milton Keynes has announced that they are due to open two new stores later this month, adding to their great mix of leisure, dining and retail offers. First up will be ‘Cocina’, which will provide a completely new style of Mexican dining experience for Milton Keynes offering a modern take on classic Mexican favourites such as tacos and nachos. Cocina is the big sister of the established quick-service chain El Mexicana, but rather than grabbing a burrito on the run, at Cocina you can relax in their impressive surroundings, enjoy cocktails with friends and savour the taste of a true Mexican feast. Guests are actively encouraged to mix up their dishes and customize them with extra sauce or spice just as they want it - and the new store is promising great value for visitors, by enjoying a meal for two with drinks coming in at less than £25. Up next, Virtual Reality concept brand ‘Rush VR’ (pictured above) has chosen Xscape Milton Keynes to be home to their first immersive entertainment centre in the UK and will also be opening their doors in March. It promises to unlock a completely new world to its customers.  The centre will boast five VR cubes offering customers different experiences like the chance to fight zombies or race in their two motion simulation racing chairs, which when used with VR headsets become the closest thing to actually being on the race track. Future developments also include a VR maze and a two-person rollercoaster ride experience. During the Easter holidays look out for Rush VR in the main mall at Xscape MK as they offer customers a taster of what they can expect to experience. General Manager at Xscape MK, Carl Meale, commented: “It’s great to be able to announce these new openings before the Easter holidays. We can’t wait to try the Mexican food at Cocina and get our adrenalin boost at Rush VR - two fantastic new experiences for Milton Keynes and it’s only the beginning, as we plan to welcome more new brands for our guests to experience throughout 2018.” Look out for more announcements from Xscape MK coming soon. Find out more at or follow them on Facebook and Twitter. 08860ACB2E1CE88385FFE4BADC802922 Wed, 21 Mar 2018 04:20:37 +0000 Nickelodeon UK and intu team up to SLIME shoppers Children will get to doodle on a giant slime colouring wall, capture and share photos in a slime photo booth and even customise their own slime at intu Milton Keynes this month, when the shopping centre launches a ‘SLIME TIME’ event in partnership with kids brand (and SLIME experts!) Nickelodeon. The free event on Monday 26 March will also see children who have already registered online be slimed within a specially created “SLIMEULATOR” that is touring 13 of intu’s UK shopping destinations. Parents could also win a VIP family ticket to Nickelodeon’s SLIMEFEST 2018, which takes place in Blackpool later this year, by visiting Kirsty McGiff at intu Milton Keynes, said: “We know that many of our younger customers love SLIME and we want to make them smile this Easter with this fun, free, and messy experience that will even involve exclusive sliming for some lucky children. “Anyone with a creative streak will love our slime themed colouring wall where they can grab some pens and help us to complete a magnificent messy masterpiece. And don’t forget to grab a slime-selfie with the finished design.” The event follows the success of previous years’ collaborations between Nickelodeon and intu which has seen the popular retail destination host experiences featuring SpongeBob SquarePants and PAW Patrol’s Chase and Marshall.  Visit for more information. E2CE14E81DBA66DBFF9CBC35ECFDB704 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:39:22 +0000 New date set for intu Milton Keynes ‘snowed-off’ Artisan Market Due to last month’s snow storm, intu Milton Keynes made the tough decision to postpone its much-anticipated Artisan Market; but the centre is now thrilled to announce a new date has been confirmed! On Saturday 7 April, 26 independent traders will line the mall to showcase their new season lines, exclusive designs and handcrafted one-offs as intu Milton Keynes continues its support for local independent businesses. Many of the original traders scheduled for February’s event, including Outhouse by Hand who create handcrafted goods from local and sustainable, a firm favourite at the Christmas market in 2017,  Leila Ward Designs who makes beautiful art and gifts inspired by nature and Baxter’s Boutique who make lovely handmade accessories for fashion conscious dogs have all rebooked to trade at the new market. Plus, some new names including Hello Stationery, who make simply stationery to make you smile, beautiful personalised folded book art from Elegant Folds and some lovely beaded jewellery to celebrate women from Fair Bloom will now also be making an appearance! Kirsty McGiff, marketing manager at intu Milton Keynes said, “We are thrilled we have been able to secure a new date for the Artisan Market and that most of our traders have been able to confirm their attendance again. The traders are very special and quite unique, which is great for our shoppers looking for something special as a gift for someone.” The full list of exhibitors will be revealed on the intu Milton Keynes website shortly and the market will again be situated on the boulevard near Pret and Gap. The centre is also accepting applications for the Artisan Markets on Saturday 9 June and Saturday 29 September. If you are a local Etsy seller, applications for the Christmas Etsy Made Local Market in December are also being accepted but the date for this market is still to be confirmed. To register your interest for all three, please email Sellers do not have to be an Etsy seller to take part in the two remaining Artisan Markets on the 9 June and 29 September, but sellers do have to be independent and sell locally designed, handmade, upcycled or vintage items. The centre cannot unfortunately accept independent sellers who sell mass-produced items, items bought from trade shows or imported goods to resell. FC8CE6292E51AC8214F544324C56D10D Fri, 16 Mar 2018 03:40:47 +0000 Easter Bytes at the National Museum of Computing The Paessler 2018 Bytes Festivals at The National Museum of Computing on the Bletchley Park Estate start again on 29 March 2018 with lots of hands-on events and workshops until 8 April 2018, 12 noon to 5pm each day. This year Paessler Spring Bytes starts with a very special movie day on Thursday 29 March – visitors can take part in some of the trials and hazards from the Ready Player One, the Ernest Cline novel and now a hot new science fiction film. You can even use the hardware that is mentioned in the novel and film. On Friday 30 March, it’s the Big Board Game Day. There are plenty of computer games at the museum, but let’s go old school for the day and explore ice-breakers, team games, and, if you're brave enough, some spooky horror games! Saturday 31 March sees the Cryptic Codeword Challenge with talks on the machines that broke Hitler’s Lorenz cipher. See if you have what it takes to break a code. On Sunday 1 April, see and hear Station X, pre-internet communications, on the centenary of the Royal Air Force. See the technologies they used during the Second World War in places like Bletchley Park. There will also be the first SoundBytes session of the season with the latest weirdest ways of making music digitally. Monday 2 April is SoundBytes Day 2 with our techno-music volunteer who can help you make sounds from even a piece of cardboard! Come and be inspired by his digi-music world. On Thursday 5 April, parents and children can experience Explore Learning. Their methods of unlocking imagination and learning are suited to anyone aged 4 to 14. On the morning of Friday 6 April, is the Museum’s acclaimed Relaxed Opening sessions for people with autism. Register for free soon as numbers must be limited to ensure the sessions meet the need! The afternoon of Friday 6 April sees the return of the very popular Hour of Code. Already they have reached 10% of students across the world! Come and see how they teach computing skills. The final weekend holds in store a special surprise that might just involve drones … See the museum website to keep up-to-date on the events and to register to ensure your place. The 2018 Bytes Festivals are sponsored by Paessler AG, the global network management specialist and makers of PRTG Network Monitor. Paessler also sponsor the very popular Relaxed Opening Sessions for people with autism. FA14ACE7B3AE2D7E7EE6F1BC3129FBEC Fri, 16 Mar 2018 04:16:39 +0000 New Open Mic Night celebrates creative diversity An open mic night hosted by MK Gallery is encouraging Milton Keynes’ to showcase its creativity, as people from different backgrounds, ages and abilities are welcomed to share their talents. The latest event took place on International Women’s Day and to celebrate the occasion the theme for the night was #pressforprogress, a call to motivate and unite communities to think, act and be gender inclusive. The acts on the night included poets, singer/songwriters, spoken word artists and filmmakers. Thara Popoola explains: “Soapbox is a space for creatives of all forms to share and express their talent. With this particular event we wanted to celebrate and support International Women’s Day, so we encouraged performers to share pieces and songs inspired by the theme #pressforprogress, whilst still allowing space for them to deliver their way of celebrating womanhood. “Similarly to this we are excited to continue to work with the gallery to host an array of events that will highlight the talent and diversity within the city. Milton Keynes is an area full of people of various ages and backgrounds who carry incredible gifts, so I’m glad that we are able to create a much needed platform for these individuals to shine” For further information on this and the many other projects at MK Gallery, visit, or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr @MK_Gallery. F4380FD29AC34F2610014E8361D088FB Fri, 16 Mar 2018 04:28:26 +0000 Welsh National Opera to rouse Milton Keynes Welsh National Opera presents a feast of Italian operas from three of the greatest composers for its Spring season in Milton Keynes.  The season, entitled Rabble Rousers, will feature a new production of Verdi’s La forza del destino alongside revivals of Puccini’s Tosca and Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Rabble Rousers The season opens with La forza del destino directed by WNO Artistic Director David Pountney and conducted by WNO Conductor Laureate Carlo Rizzi in a personal debut for the Maestro this season.  The well-known overture sets the scene for this dramatic opera full of twists and turns that sees the heroine Leonora torn between her lover Don Alvaro and allegiance to her family. Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones will sing the role of Don Alvaro in La forza del destino, and is joined by soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams as Leonora.  Completing the cast are Miklós Sebestyén (Il Marchese Di Calatrava / Padre Guardiano), Luis Cansino (Don Carlo Di Vargas), Justina Gringyte (Preziosilla / Curra), Donald Maxwell (Fra Melitone), Alun Rhys-Jenkins (Mastro Trabuco) and Wyn Pencarreg (Alcade). Designer Raimund Bauer, Costume Designer Marie-Jeanne Lecca and Lighting Designer Fabrice Kebour join with David Pountney to complete the production team, and have devised what they describe as a “Verdi Machine” for the set.  This device consists of three interlocking frames which can create different shapes.   Carlo Rizzi says: “Forza is the only major Italian opera that I have not conducted but is one of the first ones that I heard in my life, so my thoughts on this masterpiece span more than thirty years. To bring my ideas together with David, a wonderful cast of singers and the great ensembles of WNO's Chorus and Orchestra make it all the more exciting for me that I am finally performing this masterpiece. I hope that audiences of all ages will join us for the beautiful and dramatic music that Verdi has written - not just the well known overture, but all the glorious arias and choruses in this opera that drive its very compelling story forward.” Romance and tragedy are on the menu for WNO’s revival of its production of Tosca in this thrilling story of love, lust, murder and corruption which has become one of the best-loved operas.  Featuring beautiful arias including Floria Tosca’s ‘Vissi d’arte’, the story is punctuated with twists and turns from start to its gripping finish.  Conducting of Tosca in Milton Keynes will be shared by Tête à Tête Music Director Timothy Burke (4 April) and Carlo Rizzi (6 April). The production will feature a double cast in the role of Mario Cavaradossi; Gwyn Hughes Jones (4 April) and Hector Sandoval (6 April) will share the tenor role, with Claire Rutter in the soprano role of Floria Tosca.  Mark S Doss will take the role of the villainous Scarpia, and the cast is completed by Daniel Grice (Cesare Angelotti) and Donald Maxwell (Sacristan). The main scale season concludes with the revival of John Caird’s 2011 staging of Don Giovanni, with design by John Napier.  Based on the tale of Don Juan, Don Giovanni follows the demise of opera’s legendary seducer as his rogueish womanising catches up with him and he meets his end through a force from beyond the grave.  One of the most popular and much-performed operas, this has everything from murder to lust to comedy, drama and the supernatural.  Don Giovanni will be revived by Caroline Chaney, with James Southall conducting. We are delighted to welcome Irish tenor Gavan Ring who will make both his WNO debut and a role debut as Don Giovanni.  Elizabeth Watts and David Stout will return following their performances in WNO’s Figaro trilogy in 2016 to sing Donna Elvira and Leporello respectively.  The cast is completed by Miklós Sebestyén (Commendatore), Emily Birsan (Donna Anna), Benjamin Hulett (Don Ottavio), Katie Bray (Zerlina) and Gareth Brynmor John (Masetto). Talking about the season, David Pountney says: “As you might expect, a season of Rabble Rousers contains a lot of demonstrably noisy people – Preziosilla banging her drum for war, Don Giovanni leading a paean to “La Liberta” and Cavaradossi bursting into vocal flames at the news of Napoleon’s victory at Marengo. The three operas of our spring season bristle with rule breakers, revolutionaries and the enemies of convention – people of unbridled passion whose characters spring out so readily from the pages of an operatic score. “Our new production of the season, La forza del destino, straddles conflicting worlds very much in the manner of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” - possibly not an accidental reference as it was written for St. Petersburg. It begins with an attempted elopement and an accidental murder, and these events set in train a relentless quest for forgiveness and revenge respectively which crosses a violent and unstable world torn apart by war. It always surprises me when people complain that the plot of Forza is disjointed, untidy. Lives lived in the midst of war and terror are seldom tidy, predictable or even rational. This is a world of extremes explored with epic dramatic vision by Verdi, who is branching out at this point in his career into increasingly radical and original dramatic structures. It sets the tone for a season unashamedly dedicated to the wilder side of life.”      More information on WNO’s spring 2018 season is available at Performances: Wed 4 – Sat 7 April. Tosca: Wed 4 & Fri 6 Apr 7.15pm Don Giovanni: Thu 5 Apr 7pm La forza del destino: Sat 7 Apr 6.30pm Price: Tickets from £12 (online/phone £14.90)* 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. 418B5015D870B2632C0840039BFEC155 Thu, 15 Mar 2018 02:28:32 +0000 IF: Milton Keynes International Festival announces early programme highlights A don’t-miss date on summer’s cultural calendar, IF: Milton Keynes International Festival returns for ten days from 20 to 29 July with a treasure trove of outdoor and large-scale performance, live music, new works and special commissions, stand-up comedy, family activities and free events. Produced by The Stables every two years, the International Festival transforms Milton Keynes’ city centre and green spaces creating unforgettable experiences for residents and visitors alike. This year the Festival will have two main locations in the city centre: Festival Central in Campbell Park - with The Spiegeltent, Acoustic Stage, installations, bars and food, pop-ups, and free and family events - and a Circus Hub in Middleton Hall, centre:mk to mark 250 years of circus. The Stables in Wavendon and Milton Keynes Theatre will both be hosting events for the very first time - though people will see the venues used in unusual ways. Among this year’s highlights are the first English performances of Wind Resistance, a solo show created and performed by multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, at The Stables from 26 to 28 July. Wind Resistance is a spellbinding alchemy of song and story and a meditation on the moorland and wildlife of Polwart’s Midlothian home. A runaway hit at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016, it 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 has also been nominated as Folk Singer of the Year and Best Album for A Pocket of Wind Resistance in the BBC2 Folk Awards 2018, to be announced in April. The exotic Spiegeltent has been a hit since its first outing in 2010 and will again serve up the best in music, comedy, kids’ events and cabaret throughout the 10 days of the Festival. Highlights include The Puppini Sisters and their brilliantly reworking of modern pop songs as vintage swing (20 July); Australian circus stars Casus and their explosive show Driftwood with a dazzling display of choreography, acrobatics, trapeze and aerial stunts (20-22 July); a one-off gig from the exciting eclectic funk-soul band Brothers Strut (21 July); wit and storytelling from comedy favourites Mark Watson (22 July) and Tom Allen (27 July); Bedfordshire 6-piece CC Smugglers who count Seasick Steve amongst their fans (24 July); pioneering folk powerhouse Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, nominated for Best Group and Best Album in the BBC2 Folk Awards 2018 (25 July); Newton Faulkner with a breath-taking, rule-breaking, genre-hopping collection of songs (26 July); The Gilded Lili Review’s fabulous mix of comedy, magic, burlesque and music (27 & 28 July); the best in Tex Mex border music from Los Pacaminos featuring one of Britain’s best-loved vocalists Paul Young (28 July); and charismatic calling, music and dancing from the Celilidh Liberation Front (29 July). Family Focus events will run throughout the Festival with Spiegeltent highlights including Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall from 28 July and Comedy Club 4 Kids presenting two shows, one with Simple Politics called How Does This Politics Thing Work Then?, both on 29 July. Full programme details are to be announced. More information at 69748BBBC13BC56F17638E9F57B7A155 Wed, 14 Mar 2018 02:46:34 +0000 The people of MK have their say on Calcutta Brasserie painting The Milton Keynes public have had their say on the future of a local restaurant’s painting, and now management have made their final decision. Last month, Milton Keynes’ award winning Indian restaurant, Calcutta Brasserie, announced plans for an extensive refurbishment, in celebration of their 10th Anniversary. As part of the refurbishment, Calcutta Brasserie, which is housed within a beautiful 17th Century Grade II Listed Chapel in Stony Stratford, announced that they were considering covering their famous “The Creation of Adam” mural, much to the surprise and shock of regulars! Unsure of what to do, the General Manager of the restaurant, Ali Ajmol, turned to social media to ask the people of Milton Keynes and their customers for their opinion. The response was unprecedented with over 400 people taking to Facebook and Twitter to have their say. Here are some comments posted on social media: “Having seen the real one a few times, this one is a pretty good replica so - hands off please. We are fortunate to have it here. So please, please let it stay for generations to come so others might appreciate this wonderful piece of art.” – Michael Allsopp. “Please keep the mural- it’s iconic.” – Lesley Loughton. “You have to please keep the painting... me and the wife love it, it’s one of best features of the restaurant.” – Opu Zaman. “Don’t cover it. Went last week and it looked epic. All my friends, many from out of MK, commented on it. Absolutely a feature and part of the buildings history. Find a way to incorporate it for sure.” – Adrian Court. On Twitter, 85% of voters voted for the mural to stay and on Facebook, 83% voted ‘stay’. With this in mind, the restaurant has decided to support its diner’s opinions and have announced today that the 18-year-old mural will STAY. The other restaurant refurbishments will begin in the next few weeks and will include a deep clean, painting the walls and ceilings to brighten the interior, updating fittings and fixtures, new seating throughout and of course, the all important new menu! General Manager, Ali Ajmol said “It is lovely to hear how much people enjoy dining in the restaurant and after hearing how our customers feel about the mural, it will definitely be staying put so it can be appreciated by all. We are excited to be starting our refurbishments very soon and we can’t wait for our anniversary in September as it will be bigger and better than ever.” Calcutta Brasseries 10th Anniversary will be held in September and it will be an evening packed full of entertainment with fantastic food and of course some bubbles to wash it all down! Full details will be announced closer to the time online at and via the Calcutta Brasserie social media pages. FC5C0CD21DDCA3B39DA73342BC41752C Wed, 14 Mar 2018 03:14:56 +0000 Destination MK scoops prestigious business award The small team at Destination Milton Keynes was very honoured to win the Business Impact in the Community Award at the recent Milton Keynes Business Achievements Awards held in early March. The annual awards recognise the achievements of Milton Keynes’ businesses of a variety of sizes and sectors across a diverse number of categories. Destination MK was shortlisted against two other exceptional organisations; Red Thread Partnership Limited and Milton Keynes Hospital Charity both who do fantastic work within the Milton Keynes community. The award was presented to the Destination MK CEO, Steven Gordon-Wilson by Stewart Elsmore from The Hoteliers Association, sponsors of the category. As a not-for-profit organisation, Destination MK strives to promote Milton Keynes both locally, regionally and nationally and as a membership organisation they are constantly looking for ways and methods to make sure their members get the maximum amount of benefits they can. The visitor economy is worth over £232 million a year to the area and with investment such as new hotels and attractions arriving almost monthly plus the ongoing development of existing tourism sites, they believe that now more than ever, the visitor economy can play a vital role in the future plans for the city. Steven Gordon-Wilson commented after receiving the award, “I am thrilled at this recognition for the Destination MK team who work tirelessly to promote the city they are so passionate about and we are very grateful to our membership without whose support over the last ten years plus, we could not have achieved this wonderful accolade.” To find out more about becoming a member of Destination MK – CLICK HERE 8B1C998CF6EFB43824BBAB2D8C9B078B Wed, 14 Mar 2018 04:12:40 +0000 Hospice Scooterthon ‘wheelie’ good for kids! Children from across Milton Keynes and beyond are being invited the ‘get their scoot on’ for Willen Hospice.  The charity has launched its annual Mini-Moo Scooterthon, which will see hundreds of children take a spin around Willen Lake North on mini wheels. The event takes place at 10.30am on Sunday 20 May and is open to children aged between three and 11 years old.  Moo mascot Florence the Cow joined Safari MK’s Charlie Monkey to launch the event with local children this week. Events Fundraiser, Gemma Cantwell, said: “We are so excited about this year’s Scooterthon. It’s such a fun event, and a really great way for children to get involved and do something to support their local hospice. “Our events are a brilliant way to help us raise the vital funds we need to continue to offer specialist end-of-life care. We love being able to bring these events to a younger audience.” The scoot follows a one mile circular route around the lake, starting outside the Hospice.  Children can do one or two laps but must be accompanied by an adult throughout. There will be medals and goodies for everyone who takes part. The charity needs to raise £4.7 million from the local community every year to ensure they can continue to offer end of life care to patients in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas. Events like Scooterthon are a great way for the public to support the Hospice. To sign up visit A301FCD6AE4DF201B8372AED34B0CBEF Tue, 13 Mar 2018 06:35:33 +0000 MK Lightning launch season tickets for 2018-19 The club’s debut Elite League season is drawing to a close but the Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning can now reveal details of season tickets for the 2018-19 campaign – with price structures to make them more affordable than ever. Season tickets for the club’s inaugural term in the top flight proved more successful than any of us could have anticipated. Building upon that, owners Graham and Monica Moody have introduced new payment plans to help make the club more accessible and great value for money. As an MK Lightning season ticket holder your favourite seat or standing spot is secured for every home fixture (League, Conference and Cup group stage games), taking the worry of getting a good vantage point out of the matchnight experience. On top of this, seats for every non-season ticket game are reserved until 90 minutes before face off! Responding to feedback from supporters, additional pricing options have also been introduced for families, young adults and students. Early Birds Get the Best Price Apply before 1st April and your season ticket is even cheaper than in 2017-18! Adult Early Bird season tickets mean you pay less than £15 per game, and for young adults and students’ a Lightning night out for just over £10.         Adult – £450          Over 60s/Students/16-18 years – £325         Child – £120         Family (1 adult and 2 children under the age of 16) – £570         Family (2 adults and 2 children under the age of 16 – one child goes free!) – £1020 (Any subsequent children are charged at £120.00 each). Apply from 1st April onwards and prices match this current season’s Early Bird prices, giving fans superb value for money:          Adult – £468         Over 60s/Students/16-18 years – £338         Child – £120         Family (1 adult and 2 children under the age of 16) – £588         Family (2 adults and 2 children under the age of 16 – one child goes free!) – £1056 (Any subsequent children are charged at £120 each). From 1st June onwards MK Lightning 2018/19 season ticket prices will be the following:         Adult – £496         Over 60s/Students/16-18 years – £372         Child – £120         Family (1 adult and 2 children under the age of 16) – £616         Family (2 adults and 2 children under the age of 16 – one child goes free!) – £1112 (Any subsequent children are charged at £120 each). Spread the cost over up to nine months Pay the cost all at once, or in three direct debit instalments, free of charge. New for 2018-19 is the option to spread the cost over nine months by direct debit for a one-off administration charge of £25. That means Early Bird adult tickets are a wallet-friendly £50 per month, whilst senior citizens and young adults pay less than £36 per month. For tickets purchased from 1st  April or later, the final instalment date can be no later than 1st December 2018.   Download the application form online at or pick one up at the Planet Ice MK Arena box office. Have any questions? Email 9E246510E26D4747C94A2EE2F122D2A8 Mon, 12 Mar 2018 02:28:18 +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 Britain’s digital future is coming home to Bletchley Park A formidable consortium led by Milton Keynes College is announcing plans to establish an Institute of Digital Technology at Bletchley Park, home of the World War Two Codebreakers.  The group comprises recognised experts in education, technology, heritage, automotive and finance and expects that eventually a thousand students and adult learners a year will study to become a new wave of Bletchley Park alumni in a wide range of digital skills.   The group includes Microsoft, KPMG, Cranfield University, VWFS (Volkswagen Financial Services), Evidence Talks and City & Guilds, as well as the College and the Bletchley Park Trust.  The plan is to restore the currently derelict Block D creating an inclusive centre for the teaching of technical qualifications, apprenticeships, and other training to help redress the desperate shortage of skilled people in the sector. The institute will seek to recruit and train specialists in a whole range of fields including Network Engineering, Software Engineering, Development & Testing, Applications Development, Data & Business Analytics, Intelligent Systems, Games Development, Communications & Digital Marketing, and of course, Cybersecurity.   A recent study from the industry association, ISC Squared, suggests more than two thirds of UK companies are unable to recruit the specialists they need to defend themselves against digital attacks.  The report says that within two years there will be a global deficit of 1.2 million security professionals.  In terms of overall digital competence, British industry faces a persistent shortfall of around 40,000 skilled people. 75% of the members of The British Chambers of Commerce say they lack the staff with the requisite training and ability to meet their digital needs. “Bletchley Park is synonymous with the security of this nation and so I cannot think of a more appropriate place to train the next generation of cybersecurity experts that will protect the UK from the growing threat of cyberattacks,” says Derrick McCourt, General Manager of the Customer Success Unit at Microsoft UK. “Digital skills are becoming increasingly vital to the success of the UK economy and we share Milton Keynes College’s ambition to help students develop the skills and practical expertise that employers want and need – both now and in the future.” The transformation from code breaking to code writing at the historic location is a perfect fit with the government’s aim to turn the Oxford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge growth corridor into the UK’s Silicon Valley.  The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published a document (Industrial Strategy: building a Britain fit for the future) in November which says, “In the Cambridge–Milton Keynes–Oxford corridor we have agreed an ambitious programme of infrastructure, housing, business investment and development.. Estimates by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) suggest that, with the right actions, annual output of the corridor could increase by £163bn per annum by 2050 – approximately doubling the growth expected to happen without government intervention”  Bletchley Park’s location is doubly advantageous, also lying halfway between London and Birmingham. Dr Julie Mills, Principal and CEO of Milton Keynes College says, “Bletchley Park was chosen immediately before the war to be the home of the Government Code and Cipher School, in part because it was midway between the two great university cities and in easy reach of London.  Today those three key centres are even closer.  Milton Keynes is thirty-two minutes by train to central London.  It’s already a hotbed of digital research and development being home to more than three and a half thousand ICT companies¹ and having excellent global connectivity.  The location is as perfect as it was in 1939, in just the right place to make a significant contribution to meeting the gap in digital skills which so desperately needs to be addressed for the sake of the country’s economic future.” Sir John Dermot Turing, nephew of Alan and a member of the board of the Bletchley Park Trust, says, “It’s absolutely fitting that Block D should be brought back to life for a purpose which is both educational and meeting a technology-related need of such significance to the nation.  It would be a marvellous addition to Alan Turing’s legacy if the proposed Institute of Digital Technology were to open here.  It’s exciting to think just how inspired the people who come here to learn could be, knowing in whose footsteps they will be walking.” The consortium members are bidding for funding from the government’s Institutes of Technology fund and are hoping to secure the support and involvement of further important partners for the plans.  Dr Mills says, “It’s central to the government’s proposals for Institutes of Technology for the curriculum to pinpoint and meet the needs of employers.  At the Institute of Digital Technology at Bletchley Park, those employers will be involved in actually designing the courses studied to make certain those needs are met and hopefully exceeded.” ¹Invest Milton Keynes - 6595F3201568E5DB6F3CAC0A73BFF243 Wed, 07 Mar 2018 12:50:56 +0000 MK Lightning announce signing of Doug McKay as Head Coach and General Manager Elite League ice hockey club the Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning have announced the appointment of vastly experienced Canadian Doug McKay as Head Coach and General Manager, ahead of the 2018-19 season. McKay will take the reins from current Head Coach Pete Russell, who will leave the club at the end of the current campaign, having led the organisation to League and play-off trophies and second place in the English Premier League in 2016-17. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Doug McKay will bring to the Lightning vast experience gained in North America, having worked previously for two years as Assistant Coach at both the NHL New Jersey Devils and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also has valuable Head Coach experience in the AHL and ECHL and more than two decades of coaching in several European leagues including Italy and Switzerland.   Off-ice operations at the Lightning will also benefit from Doug’s considerable experience, after four years with the NHL Buffalo Sabres handling marketing, sales, promotion and media relations. Announcing the appointment, MK Lightning owner Monica Moody spoke of how the organisation arrived at their decision, saying: “Our inaugural season was a challenge in many ways, which reinforced our continuing belief to move forward bringing a strong foundation in the community. “Doug McKay has worked this game from every angle - from grass roots level to the NHL - and we are confident that with his help we will take our brand forward. “We thank the entire MKL organisation on and off the ice for their effort, enthusiasm, commitments and their belief in our promising future.” Doug McKay added: “I’m looking forward to working with Monica and Graham and the Milton Keynes Lightning organization and would like to thank them for this opportunity. I am excited to take on this new challenge and confident we will put a competitive product on the ice for all the MKL sponsors and fan base.” 19781CFBCF60D73CB688A6C6CA5E55FF Wed, 07 Mar 2018 03:53:16 +0000 For an egg-cellent time this Easter, visit Milton Keynes Museum The hunt will be on at Milton Keynes Museum this Easter, as youngsters search for hidden eggs which lead the way to yummy chocolate rewards! The annual search is an egg-cellent way to celebrate the festive period – and the museum's Easter Egg Hunt ensures everyone wins something. And while you search, you get a wonderful tour of the history hub too. It's good traditional family fun suitable for little chicks and older bunnies alike! But the Easter weekend is also choc-full of non-chocolate goods, with plenty of hands-on interaction getting you closer to our past. You'll be able to see how people used to pick up their groceries with a walk along the street of shops, go back to school, and learn how families used to amuse themselves pre-television, with parlour games which you can play yourselves. Pay a visit to the transport hall and be dazzled by everything from a precarious penny-farthing to a comfortable canal boat. And when you've done all of that, you must check out the family privy, where everyone could spend a penny at once! Play on the pianola, experience public punishment in the stocks, learn the story of human communication at The Connected Earth gallery and much more. Feeling peckish after so much fun? A trip to the Granary Cafe will solve that, with a range of affordable hot and cold snacks and drinks to fill bellies. Give the family an egg-stra special Easter time – bring them to Milton Keynes Museum. 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 19F59064291ED0341AE3765060CC4AD7 Wed, 07 Mar 2018 03:58:54 +0000 Lost World Golf is coming to Central Milton Keynes Mr Mulligan has been spotted in Milton Keynes …. with a giant Caterpillar! The adventure continues as the latest indoor venue opening is announced as Lost World Golf comes to Milton Keynes.  Grab your snorkel and hold on to your swimming attire as Mr Mulligan prepares to dive into the heart of Milton Keynes with his latest expedition. The newly refurbished 12th Street (old Theatre District) will be the destination of a new underwater kingdom, Lost World Golf, which will comprise of two twelve-hole adventure golf courses, to test the skillset of adventurers young and old. Those searching for the Lost World can refuel in the bar and restaurant area in preparation to join Mr Mulligan on a life changing experience through the enchanted forest and underwater kingdom. Enjoy mouth-watering grub, get fizzy on some wild cocktails or sip on alcoholic slushees whilst trying to dodge the giant creatures from the unknown. Speaking to one of Mr Mulligan’s Captains last week, he said, “We’re so pleased to be bringing an extra special concept to the centre of Milton Keynes. It will be the third Lost World Golf in the portfolio, however this wild number is going to have a few speciality tricks up it's jungle sleeves”. The venue, which is due to open in late April will also be hosting children’s parties, corporate events and student nights. More details on the launch of Mr Mulligan’s Lost World Golf will be announced soon on their website: B30958093DAEED059670B35173654DC9 Tue, 06 Mar 2018 01:29:41 +0000 intu MK launches Spring Summer fashion with real models from MK It may feel like mid-Winter outside, but intu Milton Keynes is warming up for its Spring/Summer 18 fashion launch, with the help of ‘real’ models from MK. At the end of January, the shopping centre appealed for ‘models’ to come forward to take part in a photoshoot featuring the latest trends from the likes of Karen Millen, GAP, Superdry and Debenhams. Over 100 entries were received, and judges whittled it down to just five models from three age categories, 18-25, 25-35 and 35-45. Last Friday, the winning models who are all from the Milton Keynes and Bletchley area, Aimee Blake, Lennie Heslop, Chloe Wrigley and Mica Whyte, along with intu Milton Keynes’ very own marketing coordinator and star of SS17, Joe Atherton, took part in an urban photoshoot in Central Milton Keynes. Shot by local professional photographer, Gill Prince, the shoot captured over 300 stunning looks and poses. Kirsty McGiff, marketing manager at intu Milton Keynes said, “We wanted to work with real local people to launch Spring Summer 2018 and put them into a real life surrounding that we hope people can relate to. The shots are stunning, and we can’t wait to reveal the final images.” intu Milton Keynes gave all five winners the full model experience for the day with a number of shoots from around the city centre, plus two beauty counters from within Debenhams, NYX Cosmetics and Make Up Forever, gave the female models of the group an extra special treat. On Monday 5 March, intu Milton Keynes will launch a Facebook competition where followers can win a £25 Gift Card each weekday for eleven days. Every day, people must “guess the retailer” as each image will feature one or more of the models wearing a different retailer from the centre. To enter, followers will simply need to comment below the picture with their guess and one winner will be picked at random to win! To make sure you don’t miss a picture, follow the centre on Facebook > EED43ED95207149CED1C0F1F8A2C0F67 Wed, 28 Feb 2018 03:41:10 +0000 Critically acclaimed Crazy for You comes to MK Theatre West End and TV actress Claire Sweeney takes on the role of ‘Irene’ in the national tour of the Watermill Theatre’s acclaimed production of CRAZY FOR YOU, coming to Milton Keynes Theatre, Tue 20 – Sat 24 March. Claire joins Tom Chambers who plays ‘Bobby’ and Charlotte Wakefield who plays ‘Polly’.  Claire Sweeney has a television and theatre career which spans over 20 years. She is probably best known for playing the role of Lindsey Corkhill in Brookside.  Other television credits include Clocking Off and Merseybeat along with a presenting role on 60 Minute Makeover and a panellist on ITV’s Loose Women. Claire’s West End roles include Roxie Hart in Chicago and Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. Claire previously played the title role in Educating Rita at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory and prior to that, played Paulette in the UK tour of the award winning Legally Blonde. She most recently appeared as Baroness Bomburst in the National Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Tom Chambers created the role of Jerry Travers in the West End musical Top Hat, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. In 2008 he won the 6th season of Strictly Come Dancing. He can currently be seen in the hit BBC drama Casualty and his other TV credits include Holby City and Waterloo Road. His recent stage credits include Private Lives and White Christmas in the West End. Charlotte Wakefield made her West End debut as Wendla in Spring Awakening, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award. She played Maria in the critically acclaimed production of The Sound of Music at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre receiving nominations for Best Actress in a Musical at both the Evening Standard and Olivier Awards. Her other theatre credits include Sophie in Mamma Mia! in the West End, Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Laurey in Oklahoma!, both on national tour. The cast is completed by Arthur Boan, Daniel Bolton, Hollie Cassar, Neil Ditt, Kate-Anne Fenton, Cristopher Fry, Stacey Ghent, Matthew James Hinchliffe, Kieran Kuypers, Kate Milner-Evans, Emma Jane Morton, Kate Robson-Stuart, Ned Rudkins-Stow, Seren Sandham-Davies, Mark Sangster and Abi Casson Thompson. High energy, high kicking and gloriously glamorous, CRAZY FOR YOU is the ultimate feel-good musical with a fabulous score from the Gershwin brothers’ songbook. Mistaken identities, plot twists, heartbreak, happiness and a wealth of memorable tunes, including I Got Rhythm, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Embraceable You, all feature in this exhilarating celebration of the great Broadway musicals. CRAZY FOR YOU is directed by The Watermill’s Artistic Director, Paul Hart, with musical arrangements by Catherine Jayes (The Color Purple, Broadway). It is choreographed by Nathan M. Wright (High Society, Old Vic) and is designed by Diego Pitarch (The Addams Family). Lighting design is by Howard Hudson (In the Heights) with sound design by Tom Marshall (Legally Blonde). CRAZY FOR YOU has Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, Book by Ken Ludwig, co-conception by Ken Ludwig and Mike Ockrent. It is inspired by material by Guy Bolton and John McGowan. CRAZY FOR YOU was originally produced on Broadway by Roger Horchow and Elizabeth Williams. Original Broadway Choreography by Susan Stroman    LISTINGS Performances: Tue 20 – Sat 24 Mar. Evenings 7.30pm, Wed, Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm. Tickets: From £19 (online/phone £22.90)* 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 BA4849411C8BBDD386150E5E32204198 Wed, 28 Feb 2018 04:36:43 +0000 Curry comes to rescue of KFC chicken crisis hit customers An Indian restaurant in Milton Keynes has come to the rescue for chicken lovers across the city, following this week’s news that KFCs have temporarily shut, because they have run out of chicken. From Wednesday 21 February, Maaya Indian Kitchen & Bar in The Hub will be serving deep fried chicken wings as part of its lunchtime buffet available Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays – for no extra cost! The bottomless buffet already provides 20 dishes from Chicken Tikka Masala to Lamb Rogan Josh, and now customers can enjoy their chicken fix Indian-style. The restaurant has ordered in 10 times the normal quota of chicken from its suppliers (highly reliable) and increased the number of lunchtime staff to cater for the anticipated demand. “The chefs have created a flavoured batter to cover our chicken wings and then deep fried them to give a crisp and succulent coating,” said owner and manager at Maaya, Mo Abdul. He adds: “We use only the finest chicken from a supplier, which I’m happy to share with KFC, and we think our chicken wings taste better than the colonel’s own recipe.” The wings will be available Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week only on Maaya’s lunchtime buffet, which is available from 12pm until 2.30pm. The buffet costs just £7.95 per person for an endless amount of chicken plus 19 other dishes – half the price of a KFC Family Feast that has just 10 pieces of chicken. Spaces are limited so booking is advised by calling 01908 242665 or email 8F12C31D57E0867629470D478CFBA8FF Tue, 20 Feb 2018 03:29:16 +0000 Outlands Tour coming to MK Gallery The internationally renowned US composer, saxophonist, mixed-media practitioner, and sonic voyager ?Matana Roberts (perhaps best known for her acclaimed Coin Coin project, ongoing and unfolding via Constellation Records) and British sound artist/improviser? Kelly Jayne Jones?, have announced a new live collaboration, the first in a series of special live shows programmed by OUTLANDS, a new national experimental music touring network. Roberts and Jones are two artists from disparate backgrounds, finding affinity in practices charged by fiercely personal philosophies on sound. Both artists embrace improvisation, resist accepted narratives of sound, are community-minded and believe in democratic, shared, free-music making that erodes barriers. In other words, they perfectly embody what OUTLANDS is striving for – more info and dates below. Together, the artists will weave their own approaches into live collaborative works informed by deeply expressive playing, tactile electro-acoustic interplay and a broader shared politics of resistance/defiance. Produced by Qu Junktions and taking place in May 2018, ?after being developed and premiered in residency at Bristol's Cube Cinema,? this marks the first time Matana Roberts shall tour the UK on this scale, reaching locations she has never performed before. As part of the OUTLANDS initiative, this tour, and subsequent ones, will feature an interconnected engagement programme that will shine a light on the intriguing artistic processes and personalities involved in adventurous music forms, as well encouraging new audiences to experience this art form. In this case, Kelly Jayne Jones shall lead a series of group workshop sessions that explore improvisation as a means of building community, exploring mindfulness and enabling political expression. MATANA ROBERTS & KELLY JAYNE JONES TOUR DATES MAY 2018 Fri 4th May Bristol, Cube Cinema Weds 9th May? ?London, ?Ghost Notes Thu 10th May Bexhill, De La Warr Pavilion Fri 11th May Cambridge, St Barnabas Church Sat 12th May Milton Keynes, MK Gallery Thu 17th May Plymouth, ?The House, Peninsula Arts, University of Plymouth Fri 18th May Birmingham, Centrala Gallery Sat 19th May Salford, Manchester, The Portico Sun 20th May Bradford, Fuse Gallery Tour commissioned by Outlands, produced by Qu Junktions and supported by Arts Council England and ?Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Ticket prices shall be capped for all shows in the spirit of ensuring the shows are widely accessible, and can be purchased ?via the OUTLANDS website. Image above courtesy of Jason Fulford C9DB8F9FA9B8BCCB28ACB108E1D07A3C Wed, 14 Feb 2018 11:49:55 +0000 Mercedes F1 Star Valtteri Bottas links up with the Lightning As the MK Lightning debut Elite League season reaches its peak, the Smith Recycling sponsored team are training as intensively as ever - and this week were joined by an extra skater who was just as comfortable on the ice as on four wheels (Thursday 8 February). Valtteri Bottas from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team visited the Planet Ice MK Arena on Thursday morning, taking a break from his preparations for the 2018 Formula 1 season which starts in Australia on 25 March.  He joined the Lightning as they were put through their paces in training by Head Coach Pete Russell, ahead of Saturday’s clash with reigning EIHL champions Cardiff Devils. A native of Nastola in Finland, Bottas played junior ice hockey for almost a decade until the age of 15.  He enjoyed spells as a forward and defenceman as well as netminder - giving up only when he had to choose between hockey and motor racing for his future.  And the rest, as they say, is history: last season with Mercedes he started four grands prix from pole position and won three races - along with team-mate Lewis Hamilton helping the team to its fourth consecutive World Constructors’ Championship. The Lightning are in excellent company: in his debut season with Mercedes last summer, Valtteri joined the NHL Montreal Canadiens for a training session to refresh his skills ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix. “It was a real pleasure having Valtteri along to join us in training,” said Coach Russell.  “We could see straight away he’s a natural and was very comfortable on the ice.  He covers the ice well and reads the game plays excellently.  We’d have been interested in signing him for the rest of the season, but apparently a team in Brackley’s got first call on him!” “All of us at the Lightning wish Valtteri and the Mercedes team every success for the upcoming season and we hope to see him again if he wants to refresh his skills on the ice between races." The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team will reveal its 2018 car on 22 February at Silverstone Circuit.  The first race of the 2018 F1 season is on Sunday 25 March in Melbourne, Australia. For MK Lightning tickets call 01908 540020 or online at 86654AA91382FFA290D510F1D2DD3353 Mon, 05 Mar 2018 10:39:11 +0000 PR man made Ambassador of Destination Milton Keynes At Destination Milton Keynes’ first members’ event of the year, its Chief Executive, Steven Gordon-Wilson, named and presented the organisation’s newest Ambassador. Leigh Strathearn, Managing Director of Perception Public Relations and joint owner of Maaya Indian Kitchen & Bar in The Hub, was presented with the honour that has only been received by four other people in the city. For his support and services to Destination Milton Keynes, the city’s official visitor information body, and for championing Milton Keynes, he was presented with a certificate signed by the organisation’s Chair, Dr Ann Limb, CBE. “It’s a great honour to have been awarded such a prestigious title,” Leigh said. “Destination Milton Keynes does a fantastic job promoting Milton Keynes and those businesses within it and I will continue to offer my full support.” Steve Gordon-Wilson commented, “Leigh has been a passionate supporter of both Destination Milton Keynes and the city overall for many years and we are delighted to welcome him into our Ambassadorial role.” Leigh Strathearn, who shares his birth date with Milton Keynes (23 January), joins previous Ambassadors including, Nicholas Mann, Managing Director of Interdirect, Geoff Snelson, Director of Strategy and Futures at Milton Keynes Council, Marian Livingston, Chairman of Milton Keynes City Orchestra and owner of Livingston PR and Monica Ferguson, Director of Milton Keynes International Festival. CDAA9B682E10C291D3BBADCA4C96F5DE Thu, 08 Feb 2018 11:30:15 +0000 intu Milton Keynes Green Gym is a huge success This week the intu Milton Keynes Green Gym volunteers were out around the city creating hedgehog houses for the prickly residents of Milton Keynes, as part of their weekly mission to get people exercising whilst out and about!    Last year, the intu Milton Keynes Green Gym was launched in partnership with the shopping centre, intu Milton Keynes, and the Milton Keynes Council which has lead to dozens of volunteers giving up their time to take part.   TCV, the community volunteering charity, have worked with intu for ten years to restore and enhance green spaces up and down the country through the Green Gym initiatives. The programme offers volunteers the chance to take part in practical nature conservation sessions whilst also improving their health and wellbeing. Emma Eteen, the Project Officer for the intu Milton Keynes Green Gym, has arranged some fantastic events so far which the community have loved getting involved with. This includes planting bulbs in public gardens and outdoor spaces around the city centre, planting flowers which will ensure the bee population thrives this spring, as well as clearing outdoor spaces so they can be enjoyed by members of the public.   Kirsty McGiff, intu Milton Keynes marketing manager said, “The Green Gym has been a huge success so far and thank you to Emma and all those involved who have been pushing the programme. Also, a huge thank you to all volunteers who have given up their time to make the outdoor spaces of Milton Keynes even more beautiful for people to enjoy.” All abilities are welcome to join the intu MK Green Gym and to find out what they have planned next, visit their Facebook page for full details. F39FD0E38564AFFEC2F1038CB4BD56FE Fri, 02 Feb 2018 04:31:36 +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 Find Out What’s On in Milton Keynes Parks in 2018 The Parks Trust, the self-financing charity that manages and maintains over 5,000 acres of green space across Milton Keynes, is proud to present its 2018 What’s on Guide. This handy, pocket size booklet details all the events and activities that will take place across the city throughout the year, with everything from smaller, regular events like Parks and Run and Women’s Walking Network through to bigger events including World Picnic and Festival of Nature. This year also sees the return of the hugely popular Big Doggie Do, a canine focused festival with stalls, activities and dog shows. The event has also been extended to two days for 2018 and will be held 26th – 27th May. Other larger events to return to the calendar include the Easter Egg Hunt, to be held at Willen Lake North on Thursday 29th March and May Day celebrations, at Great Linford Manor Park on Saturday 5th May. In addition, a variety of new, regular activities have been introduced, including monthly Guided Walks around different areas of parkland, Woof Walks for those who would like to bring their dog with them to explore, and Discovery Strolls, shorter strolls for those of any age and ability. Julie Dawes, Events & Community Engagement Manager for The Parks Trust, commented: “We are very pleased to present our 2018 What’s on Guide, which details hundreds of opportunities to get outside and explore our beautiful parkland. We organise and enable over 500 events and activities every year, working closely with local community groups and other organisations, to ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy. We look forward to seeing you all!” The 2018 What’s on Guide can be picked up from The Parks Trust’s offices in Campbell Park or its education centres at Linford Lakes and Howe Park Wood, or at MK Central library and Milton Keynes Visitor Centre. If you would like some copies for your group or organisation contact The Parks Trust on 01908 233600 or For more information please visit 00693CEEC3AA42DB186EFA62ED8917D2 Mon, 22 Jan 2018 06:07:25 +0000 Harben House Hotel Launch Party The Harben House Hotel, Newport Pagnell, hosted a VIP party on Thursday, 18th January, to launch its opening following a £3 million refurbishment. Local businesses, dignitaries including Newport Pagnell mayor; Derek Eastman, press and corporate clients were invited to attend the celebratory evening by owners MCR Property and management team, Countrywide Hotels.   On arrival guests enjoyed Vaporetto Prosecco from Veneto, Italy and a menu of canapés created by the hotels team of chefs, including mini Woburn venison burgers, chilli and garlic prawns, ham hock terrine bites and haloumi steak bites, as well as sharing platters from the main menu. Entertainment was provided by talented singer songwriter Abi Phillips, who is also known for playing Liberty Savage in Channel 4’s soap opera Hollyoaks. The event included tours of the new bedrooms, public areas and event spaces.   The launch event came ahead of the Harben House’s public opening party on Friday 19th January.   The hotel’s owners, Manchester-based MCR Property Group, said the changes are all part of making a more modern and welcoming atmosphere at the hotel - in a bid to appeal to a wider range of customers in the area.   Nick Lake of MCR Property Group said "It’s not just about a change in décor, we are aiming to create a bar and restaurant area where people can enjoy great food and drink. It’s an outstanding development that has recently evolved since MCR Property Group acquired the hotel in 2016.”   Darren Patt of Countrywide Hotels said “Harben House is on its journey to becoming one of Milton Keynes best locations for hosting conference and events. The completion of the Harben Bar & Kitchen restaurant, which is now open to the residents of Newport Pagnell, is at the heart of the hotel. Harben now has a great offering and we are looking forward to being part of its success.”   For further information on the Harben House Hotel visit A54505E6A589AA3B38674EF107DA13C1 Mon, 22 Jan 2018 06:24:03 +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 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 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 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