Celebrating the official city status of Milton Keynes

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We were delighted to hear that Milton Keynes has been awarded official city status as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. What a time to achieve our long-cherished ambition.

Our city is truly unique, yet despite being only 55 years old, it is sobering to think that Her Majesty had already been our monarch for 15 years when Milton Keynes, one of the most famous new towns, was created in the post war era. A true testament to the Queen’s lifetime of service.

I was humbled and honoured to have served on the committee as vice-chair position, supporting the Chair, John Moffoot MBE, MK Council, and a group of more than 50 individuals and organisations, to develop the application for City Status. And it was of course befitting of our city’s technological prowess that this bid commenced its journey to Her Majesty via a Starship Robot.

From all corners of communities across Milton Keynes, the wealth of public support for the bid was phenomenal. As Mayor of Milton Keynes at the time, Cllr Mohammed Khan noted, if city status was granted based on the strength of feeling that people have for their home, then Milton Keynes would be in no doubt of being named a city.

Having completed his year as major, this week saw Cllr Mohammed Khan step down to be replaced by his deputy Cllr Amanda Marlow. Not only does Amanda become our 50th Mayor and the first female Mayor for a decade, but she also becomes the first Mayor of Milton Keynes as an official city.

Congratulations to Amanda on behalf of Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership and also to Debbie Brock DL, who was recently appointed High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in April. With Amanda and Debbie in post, the young women of Milton Keynes have some wonderful role models to guide them.

There were 38 towns across the UK to apply for city status, and I acknowledge that I believed this honour would be bestowed upon a Northern town as part of the Government’s levelling up agenda. I could not be more delighted that this prediction did not come to fruition.

Achieving city status will of course bring international recognition and benefit our thriving economy, but it also recognises the very essence of what makes Milton Keynes great – from our celebrated green spaces and heritage sites to our diversity and commitment to our people and our environment.

As we collaboratively celebrate this civic honour, we should all be proud of the role we have played in realising the vision of our founders and creating the great city Milton Keynes has become today.

Nicholas Mann, Chair of Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership