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The Centre:mk, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

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In the 1970’s, as part of the development of the new town of Milton Keynes, a “shopping building” was proposed as the centre of the town. From the beginning it was envisaged as light and airy with recreation areas and natural planting incorporated into the design. 

The Centre

The Centre:mk has upheld that original vision and still provides the elegant facilities, despite its growth over the years. Recently the building was made Grade 2 listed, thanks largely to the support of the people of the town. 

The Centre:mk is unusual in being largely on one level. All access is at ground level, as are the shops; some of the stores within the complex have other storeys within. Shoppers are not distracted by deliveries or service vehicles, as all these facilities are integrated into the design, either underground or above and behind the structure.

The result is a shopping experience which is very relaxed and elegant.  

There is considerable natural planting throughout the centre, and special open spaces for relaxing. The open-air square, Queens Court, provides a park-like area which has been developed into a restaurant area for indoor and outdoor eating. 

As a change from enclosed shops, an open market is held in the space outside door 10. The market is 5 times a week and varies in style; it is usually a general market, but some days there are antiques or collectors markets held.

For shoppers with youngsters, there is a crèche facility in the centre. Here professional care is provided with soft play areas and activities. Twice a day there are parent and toddler sessions in the crèche area for the very young. For slightly older children the Centre:mk organises events, craft workshops and discos during all the major school holidays and weekends. There are even keep fit sessions for all ages.

If the youngsters prefer to shop with their parents, they can travel around in special kiddie cars, which can be hired from the customer service areas. 

All ages can enjoy the regular entertainment provided around the centre. Local music groups and choirs perform in the open areas throughout the year.  

Access to the Centre:mk is very easy with good links to the M1 (junction 14) and the A5; all well signposted. There is more than adequate parking around the centre, on a pay and display system. From Milton Keynes itself, the bus services stop right outside the main entrance.






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