The MK Futures 2050 Commission

The MK Futures 2050 Commission was launched by Milton Keynes Council as an independent body in December 2015. The Commission is composed of nine commissioners and is chaired by Sir Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor at Cranfield University.

The Commission was tasked with producing a report that addressed “potential longer term futures for Milton Keynes” and made recommendations to Milton Keynes Council to aid the development of a medium and longer term policy framework.[1]

On 4 July 2016, the Commission published the report Milton Keynes: Making a Great City Greater. This report recommends six projects Milton Keynes Council should undertake:

  • Realisation of the economic potential as a single knowledge-intensive cluster of the Cambridge–Milton Keynes–Oxford arc.
  • Creation of a new university. 
  • Learning 2050 – ensuring that the city provides world-class education through the “Milton Keynes Promise”, stating every person leaving school who wishes to study at university, or a vocational equivalent, will be guaranteed an opportunity to do so.
  • Ensuring everyone who lives, works, studies or does business in the city is able to “move freely and on-demand.” 
  • Creation of an “even stronger city centre.”
  • Ensure competitive city-to-city advantage through the creation of a “vibrant cultural base.”

The Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge Arc 

The 2016 Budget announced that the National Infrastructure Commission would carry out a study on the Cambridge–Milton Keynes–Oxford corridor and make recommendations to “maximise the potential of the corridor as a single knowledge intensive cluster that competes on a global stage.”[2]

The Commission will produce an interim report in Autumn 2016 assessing the “economic case for planned road and rail investment” as well as mapping “local and national development, identifying constraints to growth, regeneration and quality of life and future opportunities over the next 30 years.”[3]

A final report making recommendations on growth, jobs, housing, sustainability and local governance will be published in time for the 2017 Autumn Statement. 

The National Infrastructure Commission have stated the report will draw on the existing strengths of the Arc – including high levels of productivity, a highly skilled population, the international reputation of Oxford and Cambridge universities and a growing population, while simultaneously addressing long-term challenges, including high house prices and the limited cross-corridor commuting options.

[1] Milton Keynes Council, MK Futures 2050 Commission FAQ

[2] HM Treasury, Letter from the Chancellor to Lord Adonis, 16 March 2016

[3] National Infrastructure Commission, Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford: ‘growth corridor’ call for evidence, 16 May 2016

Further Reading

MK Futures 2050 Commission, Milton Keynes: Making a Great City Greater, July 2016 

Milton Keynes Council, MK Futures 2050 Commission FAQs

Milton Keynes Council, What Makes a City Great? Commission Working Paper Number 1

Milton Keynes Council, Results from the Commission’s Engagement Programme: Commission Working Paper Number 2

Milton Keynes Council, A Resilient Milton Keynes Economy: Commission Working Paper Number 3

Centre for Cities, Milton Keynes: Where Have We Been? Where Are We Going?

The Guardian, The Story of Cities: The Struggle for the Soul of Milton Keynes, 3 May 2016

National Infrastructure Commission, Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford: ‘growth corridor’ call for evidence, 16 May 2016

East West Rail, HC Deb 4 Dec 2015, c 681-686

Debate packs are intended to provide a summary or overview of the issues being debated and identify any relevant briefings including press and parliamentary material. A more detailed briefing may be prepared for a Member on request to the Library.


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