Living and working guide - Milton Keynes

Hu Kabir Other

Having enjoyed phenomenal growth over the last three decades, Milton Keynes continues to thrive as a centre for business in the south of England. Massive investment in the region has made it attractive to a large number of international brands including the likes of Abbey National, Volkswagen Group and Aston Martin, which have all established themselves in the area. With a current population of around 240,000, this growth is set to increase dramatically over the coming years with the region having has been earmarked for further development. This includes the construction of 70,000 new homes which will effectively double the size of Milton Keynes.

Business in the local area
Milton Keynes is well respected by the national firms with PwC, KPMG, Grant Thornton and Mazars having respresentation in the city. There is a high concentration of entrepreneurial OMBs and international inbounds particularly associated with the automotive and racing industries. Being a relatively new town Milton Keynes is an easy market for firms to network and build market share.

Milton Keynes offers a fantastic range of leisure activities, both in the city centre and in its outlying regions. The city is home to the largest indoor ski centre in Europe, which is housed in the Xscape building and dominates the skyline of Milton Keynes. There is also a thriving theatre district which plays host to a range of national tours and is surrounded by a number of lively bars and restaurants.

The Centre: MK is the longest shopping centre in Europe and is home to the full range of high street names including M&S and John Lewis. On the outskirts of the city is the National Bowl, which is recognised as a leading European concert venue. It is also easy to escape to the countryside, although Milton Keynes itself is home to a number of parkland areas that are ideal for a range of outdoor activities.

Residential areas
Milton Keynes offers a fantastic array of housing options. Its central location and excellent transport links mean that many find it easy to live in the outlying regions, including Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire, and commute in to the city centre. The older towns and villages within the city limits provide more mature housing, ranging from 1 and 2 bedroom homes, suitable for first time buyers, through to executive and country houses set in their own grounds.

Housing styles include modern thatched cottages, Continental and American style homes, marina properties with individual boat moorings and developments that offer leisure and sports facilities for the exclusive use of residents.

There is also scope within Milton Keynes for self-build projects and this is a programme which is actively encouraged by the local authority. 1,000 plots have so far been allocated for such projects and more are expected as the proposed development of the region kicks in.

Transport links
Milton Keynes benefits from excellent transport links. The A5 runs through the city and is also accessible from junctions 13, 14 and 15A of the M1. Equidistant from both London and Birmingham, the journey by road will take you just over an hour.

Milton Keynes is served by five railway stations, with a 6th just outside the town. Wolverton, Milton Keynes Central and Bletchley are all the West Coast Mainline, whilst Fenny Stratford and Bow Brickhill are on the Marston Vale line. Woburn Sands is just outside the Milton Keynes urban area. Over 100 trains go from Milton Keynes to London Euston daily and the journey takes around 30 minutes. Birmingham is only one hour and ten minutes away and Manchester Piccadilly just two hours. The region is also well served by Luton airport which is only 30 minutes outside the city and flies to many European destinations.

House prices
Over the last quarter the market has seen an increase of 0.5%. The average cost for properly in Milton Keynes is £207,000, with detached properties selling for around £302,000 and semi-detached around £182,000. Terraced properties are priced at around £150,000.

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Milton Keynes is home to a number of schools within both the state and private sectors. Independent schools include The Grove Independent School and Bury Law School.

There are a number of hotels suitable for short or longer-term stays.

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