Latest Local News from in and around Milton Keynes

With so many news stories from local businesses, charity groups, clubs, our local MP’s and societies it is hard to keep up with all the happenings.

Here is a collection of the stories we have received and were unable to print in yourlocalflyer

AW17 has dropped at intu Milton Keynes

This weekend saw the launch of a new season of fashion at intu Milton Keynes; Autumn/Winter 2017 arrived in style… and there’s more to come.

Over the weekend, shoppers were treated to complimentary hand and neck massages from Clarins, free makeovers from Bare Minerals, M.A.C Cosmetics and Laura Geller plus fashion hints and tips from Topshop, Karen Millen, New Look and Miss Selfridge. All located in the autumnal Style Garden, fashion-savvy shoppers had their photo taken and pinned to the wall of style featuring the hottest dressers in Milton Keynes.

“Milton Keynes shoppers are incredibly fashionable and work some fantastic looks, which we have been able to capture over the weekend for all to see,” said Kirsty McGiff, marketing manager at intu Milton Keynes. She added “The weather has turned and it’s time to get the winter wardrobe out and recycle what you can and find a few new season staple pieces.”

Shoppers have the chance of winning £250 intu Gift Card by taking a picture in front of the Selfie Wall located on the perimeter of the Style Garden. Pick up the frame, work a pose and upload your shot on social media using the hashtag #MyintuStyle.

The Style Garden remains on the mall all week and will be packed with retailers and style spotters again this weekend.

To keep up to date with what’s on in centre, check on the intu Milton Keynes social channels, www.facebook.com/intuMiltonKeynes and www.twitter.com/intumk

Fish, Chips and a Chat

Local MP Iain Stewart visited Vince’s Fish Bar in Ashland last week for fish, chips and a chat with local residents.

Mr Stewart met with the owner Salvy Seminerio who has just opened the new fish and chip shop in Ashland near Stadium:MK. The business has seen a lot of interest in their first few weeks and the team are confident this will continue.

After trying his hand at frying some chips, Mr Stewart said:
“I was delighted to meet with Salvy and his team. It is always encouraging to visit a new start up business, no matter how big or small, it shows MK continues to be a great place to live and work.

“I will admit I was a little slow at serving, I am lucky it wasn’t rush hour! I wish the team the very best of luck and I will certainly be visiting for a fish supper again very soon.”

World Tour Launch Event Opens Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards 2018

On Thursday 7 September, The Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards (MKBAA) announced its fifth annual event, which celebrates the success of businesses across our region.
Organised by the Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership (MKBLP), in association with full service marketing agency Interdirect and event management experts Evolution Live, the 2018 awards will have an international theme that reflects Milton Keynes at the centre of an intricate network of trade which is growing rapidly.

The launch event, which welcomed local businesses, supporters, sponsors and previous winners, was held at BSI in Knowlhill, and revealed this year’s categories, judges and most importantly, details on how businesses can enter.

As part of the celebrations, every guest was handed a world flag to mark the international theme of MKBAA 2018 and Dr Philip H Smith MBE, Chair of MKBLP, welcomed guests, explaining that; “Every corner of the globe knows about our amazing city and this year’s awards will be a celebration of that reach.”

The awards, established in 2014, recognise the achievements of Milton Keynes’ businesses of a variety of sizes and sectors. Entries are now open, with thirteen categories, including new and exciting variations to previous awards.
The 2018 awards welcome the category for Best Use of Social Media, Business Impact in the Community, Charity of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Small Business, Leisure, Entertainment & Arts, Customer Service and the International Trade Award. We also welcome the return of the New Business Category and announce the new format for the Lifetime Achievement Award, which this year is open to the general public to suggest nominations. To enter and for further information visit www.mkbaa.co.uk .
The prestigious Business of the Year Award will also be presented on the night at Double Tree by Hilton, Milton Keynes, which is selected from the winning category entries.
There is also some changes to the Judging Panel for 2018, with veteran judges Sir John Southby Bt and Jon Corbett remaining and Carole Mills returning for 2018. With the addition of last year’s winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category, Ben Turner, Ian Revell of MK Community Foundation, Executive Dean of The Open University, Dr Josie Fraser and Ben McDonald of KPMG joining the panel.
Following the success of last year’s two stage entry process, we have further streamlined entries for 2018, with the first stage closing on 16 November 2017.
Continuing the pledge from the MKBAA steering group to foster the Milton Keynes business community, net proceeds from the awards ceremony will once again go towards the trust fund established by MKBLP with the MK Community Foundation for start up businesses in deprived areas of the city.
To enter the MKBAA, or to book a table at the awards ceremony, visit www.mkbaa.co.uk. To find out more follow @MK_BAA on Twitter, and join the discussion on LinkedIn.

GET READY FOR A SPOOKTACULAR HALF TERM AT FROSTS

This Halloween, be prepared for a ghoulish week to keep your little monsters entertained! Frosts Garden Centre in Woburn Sands have a cauldron bubbling with family fun this October half term as the Halloween circus returns and little ones can get really stuck in with spooky pumpkin scooping!

Pumpkin Scooping

Monday 23 October – 29 October, anytime between 10am and 3pm

£6.99 per child

Children can carve their very own Halloween Jack O’ Lantern with this spooky workshop. All pumpkins are grown by the Frosts team and each child will be given an LED tea light to place inside their creation ready to take home. Each child will also receive a cup of witch’s brew included in the ticket price!

Halloween Circus

Monday 23 – Sunday 29 October, shows at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4.30pm

£7.99 per person

Back by popular demand, the Halloween themed circus is back for autumn. Working closely with John Lawson’s Circus to put together a thrilling, fun family show with new acts especially for Frosts customers. Suitable for all ages and children under 18 months do not require a ticket.

Pre-booking is required for the circus and spaces are limited. Full payment will be required when booking. Pumpkin scooping is based on a first come first serve basis between the time stated above and families are invited to just turn up on the day. To book and find out further details of all events, head online to www.frostsgardencentres.co.uk/events or call 0800 954 9484.

Frosts Garden Centre, Woburn Sands
Newport Road
Woburn Sands
Milton Keynes
MK17 8UE

Skyline Taxis acquires Phoenix Class Northampton as part of wider growth plan

Skyline Taxis, which has bases in Milton Keynes and Northampton, has expanded further with the acquisition of taxi company Phoenix Class Northampton.

The acquisition sees Skyline add 75 vehicles to its fleets and welcome Phoenix’s call centre and administration staff to its team.

Gav Sokhi, Managing Director of Skyline Taxis, said: “Phoenix Class has been operating in Northampton for 10 years now and has an excellent reputation and great customer base.

“This acquisition gives us nearly 200 Mercedes vehicles in our fleet across Northampton and Milton Keynes and means we can replicate Phoenix Class’s successful business model of providing premium vehicles for the same price as a standard cab. Customers can travel in and around Northampton or to and from airports in an executive vehicle at an affordable price.”

The move is part of a wider growth plan by Skyline Taxis which has so far seen the company open its Northampton branch, invest in a new call centre, launch an app and employ a cloud taxi dispatch system called iCabbi. The firm is now looking at a second acquisition to expand further.

“We’re proud to add Phoenix Class to the Group and really excited about the growth prospects it presents for Skyline Taxis,” added Gav Sokhi.

To find out more or enquire about Skyline Taxis, call 01908 222111 or visit www.skylinetaxis.co.uk.

AW17 is coming to intu Milton Keynes

The weather has certainly taken a chilly turn, signalling that it is finally time to pack away the flip flops and the shorts and replace them with gorgeous fluffy knits and winter worthy footwear. The retailers of intu Milton Keynes have a fantastic two weeks planned to welcome AW17 with open arms and to help shoppers with styling and beauty advise to fall straight into the new season.

Kicking off AW17 will be a beautiful style garden which will be launched on Saturday 16 September on the mall, situated near Pret a Manger. In the style garden, the likes of Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Superdry and New Look will be on hand to offer styling advice and top tips to nail this seasons key trends. Plus, beauty brands such as Bare Minerals, MAC and Lancôme will be offering free make overs and top tips on what to wear on your skin to combat the cold and keep that summer glow going!

As well as the garden, local blogger Megan Lake will be model scouting in the centre on both Saturday 16 and Saturday 23 September to capture intu shopper’s street style looks which will then be displayed pride of place within the style garden on the intu style wall! Plus, make sure you stop and take a picture with our Instagram frame for your chance to win a £250 intu Gift Card!

The style garden will be open on Saturday 16, Sunday 17, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September so make sure you stop by and get in the know for the season ahead!

To keep up to date with what’s on in centre, check on the intu Milton Keynes social channels, www.facebook.com/intuMiltonKeynes and www.twitter.com/intumk

MPs Say Thank You

Milton Keynes MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart hosted a “Thank You” reception last night to recognise the volunteers in Milton Keynes who have and continue to make an enormous contribution to the local community.

The event was a put together by Mark and Iain to mark the 50th birthday of Milton Keynes and to recognise the “unsung heroes” from across the city who give their time and commitment to so many hardworking charities and community groups. Some of the organisations in attendance included YiS Youth Counselling Service, MK Dons SET, Age UK, Milton Keynes Museum, Bletchley Park, Willen Hospice and Granpart.

The reception was held in the opulent State Rooms of the Speaker’s House within the Houses of Parliament. Over a hundred invited guests from a diverse range of charities and organisations were publicly thanked by both Mark and Iain for their support, selfless commitment, passion and dedication to making Milton Keynes a better place.

Milton Keynes North MP Mark Lancaster commented, “It was an incredibly humbling evening to listen to the many stories of why people are motivated to volunteer. Their invaluable contribution clearly has a profound impact on the many thousands of residents in MK and I was delighted to be able to personally show my gratitude in some small way.”

Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart added: “We are very lucky in Milton Keynes that we have a thriving and well connected charity sector. The only reason we have that is because of all the individuals that volunteer their time to making people’s lives better. We really can’t thank them enough and I hope all of those in attendance enjoyed the event.”

LUCY SPRAGGAN AUTUMN TOUR Coming to Unit Nine in Milton Keynes

Lucy Spraggan may not have taken the traditional singer-songwriter route, but after three Top 40 albums and several sell-out tours, it’s clear to see she has developed a truly loyal fan base.

Lucy embarked on the road solo in 2016, for the first time leaving the band at home for her acoustic tour. She also released a new EP, Home, giving fans a taster of what’s to come from her next studio album.

She continues her solo-trawl of the UK with some more small shows in England this summer and the Scottish Highlands towards the end of the year.

We are very excited to welcome her to Unit Nine, Milton Keynes! As of the date of this press release the show has limited tickets remaining and will sell out prior to the day of the show.

Other info about the support acts:

Main Support will be from Lauren Ray. Lauren has spent the last few years performing and writing, building a fan base in London, LA and Nashville. She’s written with a host of hit songwriters including Martin Sutton (Leann Rimes), Ian Dench (EMF, Beyoncé) and Michael Garvin (Jennifer Lopez) and in April of last year finally got time to start recording her debut album in Nashville with producer Neilson Hubbard (Matthew Perryman Jones).

Local Girl Emma Pick has been chosen as the opening support for this date. Emma is a singer / songwriter from Northampton. Emma’s raw, powerful and emotive song delivery captivates audiences when she sings. Better known for busking around Milton Keynes with fan videos of her viraling

Can Your Business Help to Educate the Employees of the Future?

Action4Youth, a leading charity providing positive, often transformational experiences to motivate children and young people, will launch its new initiative, The Inspiration Programme this September. The charity is keen to hear from leading employers from across the region that can support the programme in educating a talented future workforce.

The NCFE accredited one year course is being piloted in 2017/18 with students from Milton Keynes Academy and Aylesbury College. The Business element of the programme aims to provide an understanding of the workplace, how businesses operate and will help define career choices and better prepare young people for work.

One element of the course is a speed networking session, where students will meet representatives from a range of business sectors in quick succession, in order to help students to understand the diverse range of career paths available to them and to realise the importance of making a good first impression.

We will also be asking students to complete a development project, where working in teams, they will take on different roles to design and develop the idea for a new mobile application. The students must then plan the route to market and prepare supporting documentation to demonstrate the rationale behind their idea. The teams must also estimate the cost of developing the app and devise a marketing plan. Industry experts will be on hand during these sessions to offer advice and recommendations to the students.

The final part of the six week business course will be interview practise, with students embarking on role play with one another and potential employers. Apprentices and newly employed graduates will also talk to students about their own experiences of the transition from student to employee.

Jenifer Cameron, Chief Executive of Action4Youth explains: “As an organisation that works closely with children and young people, we understand the importance of preparing students, of all abilities, for employment. This is something that we are increasingly hearing from businesses too, that students are just not as prepared for working life as they could be when they leave full time education.

“We are keen to hear from any business that would like to help us deliver an inspirational and educational insight into the world of work to these students and help them to understand their current place in society and their potential to advance and achieve within it. From providing an hour or two of your time to take part in speed networking sessions to supporting students with interview preparation, or providing your digital expertise to help design and develop an innovative mobile app, we would really like to work with you to offer the best possible real business experience.”

For further information about Action4Youth and The Inspiration Programme and to get involved in the Business Course email office@action4youth.org, telephone 0300 003 2334, visit www.action4youth.org, or find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Interdirect to Lead Walk for MK’s Homeless 

On 8 September, Interdirect will be leading a fundraising trek along a 25.48 mile walking route, established by The Parks Trust Milton Keynes, to raise awareness and funds for the increasingly pertinent issue of homelessness in our city. We caught up with Interdirect’s Business Development Director, Jake Hall, about the trials and tribulations of planning and organising such a big charity event.

How did the charity walk come about?

The event was the brainchild of Nicholas Mann, our MD, supported by Simon Demaid of Howes Percival. They were both present at a talk by Chief Executive of The Parks Trust, David Foster at Milton Keynes’ monthly networking event, Midsummer Breakfast, where David gave a presentation about the fantastic work of The Parks Trust Milton Keynes and the new 25 mile challenge walk that had recently been established. Nicholas devised the idea and using his wit and charm, quickly got Howes Percival and Milton Keynes College on board to help plan and organise the event.

Why Homelessness in MK?

Homelessness in Milton Keynes is a hot topic at the moment with reports that the city has the third highest homeless population in the South East. We had learnt that the Milton Keynes Community Foundation wanted to set up a brand new city fund exclusively to support the most vulnerable people in our city, but needed the initial investment to get it off the ground. Interdirect has always been an avid supporter of the MK Community Foundation and all the work they do for the local community, so with this in mind it felt like the right cause to support.

Who is organising the walk?

We are organising the event with the help of Howes Percival and Milton Keynes College – we have worked well together as a team bringing different knowledge and skills to the group.  Milton Keynes Community Foundation have also been a great support, with their expertise and experience in the intricacies of organising an event of this nature.

What’s involved?

Planning a charity walk isn’t as easy as it sounds. Having not organised an event of this type and scale before, it felt like a daunting task at the beginning as there is lots to take into consideration.

The first thing was to obtain permission to use the route from The Parks Trust, obtain liability insurance for the event, and also carry out a risk assessments of the route.  Then we had to consider the logistics of the day. Because the route isn’t circular we had to plan how to transport a large number of people from one end of Milton Keynes to the other – a local coach firm, Marshalls Coaches has kindly offered their transportation services in support of the event.

Getting other businesses and people on board with the event was of the upmost importance in order to raise the necessary £5,000 target for the City Fund.

We have also had to enrol volunteers to help with marshalling and first aid to make sure that walkers don’t get lost on route and there is also help on hand should anyone need it.

The route was already planned and plotted out by The Parks Trust, but we have walked and cycled the route a couple of times to ensure we know where we are going on the day and so we are fully aware of what we are letting ourselves in for!

Clear instructions to all participants have been particularly important so that everyone knows where to be and when. Getting over 70 people to start and finish at the same time will be a challenge in itself!

Does walking 25 miles make you nervous?

Yes! Even though I have walked and cycled the route on a couple of occasions in training, 25 miles is a long way and it is no easy task. After the first training walk, I soon learnt that good walking socks and blister plasters are vital if I am to complete the course

Which businesses have accepted the challenge and will be walking with you on the day?

We have had a great response and there are some really influential businesses joining us on the day and supporting the cause. Xero, Grant Thornton, Fibrefab, PJ Care and Mirus IT will be walking, as well as teams from Interdirect, Milton Keynes College and Howes Percival.

We are thankful to everyone who has accepted the challenge and have raised vital funds for such a good cause, we are looking forward to walking with them on the day.

What can participants expect on the day?

Although it’s going to be a long hard walk, people taking part can expect lots of fresh air and fun!  The walk is likely to take between 10 – 12 hours to complete so there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to get to know their fellow walkers.

What are you looking forward to the most?

Raising the profile of the new City Fund and enjoying the beautiful parks, woodlands and fields of Milton Keynes.

We would love your support in helping us to reach our target and make the sore and blistered feet worthwhile. To sponsor us, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/25milewalkchallenge