Milton Keynes was built 50 years ago. It was formally designated as a new town on 23rd January, 1967.
It was decided to build a new town on this site to relieve housing problems in London and was planned to be the biggest of all new towns yet, with an area of 89 square kilometres housing 250,000 people. This ambition was successful as the area is today home to about 241,000 people.
In 2004, an expansion plan for Milton Keynes was announced which foresees doubling of the population by year 2026.
50 years on the town is showing its age. Houses that were built to last 20 or 30 years are still in use, and the demands on the infrastructure continue to grow. Milton Keynes Council decided that major regeneration was necessary, especially across seven priority estates, which are in the top 15% nationally for areas with multiple evidence of disadvantage and deprivation.
The council knew that they could not do this on their own and so, in 2013, Milton Keynes Council started a search to find the right private sector organisation to work with. The new partnership would deliver the repairs and maintenance service to all owned properties and lead on a regeneration programme, combining expertise and financial resources necessary to deliver this effectively. This was never planned to be a standard regeneration scheme: there would not be a sell off to the private sector and there was to be no reduction in social housing. Standards needed to be maintained, with all properties having excellent insulation and more space than previous regulations required. It was important that Milton Keynes Council found the right partner and after an extensive search and through a procurement process (called competitive dialogue) Mears Group plc were selected .
At the Council’s cabinet meeting on 21 December 2015 it was agreed to form a 50:50 partnership with Mears Group plc. This partnership is called YourMK.
This film was created for a housing conference in June last year to share how and why YourMK was formed. Though this was not created for a public audience, we feel it is useful for everyone to see – it is only 3 minutes long and we love the music!