Milton Keynes


‘Mark Three’ New Town – Designated 23 January 1967

Designated to accommodate overspill from Greater London (the first New Town with this purpose since Bracknell in 1949), Milton Keynes (MK) is the UK’s largest and fastest growing New Town. Its strategic location was key to its success in attracting industry and investment. Its iconic grid masterplan and supporting policy provided a framework intended to be flexible enough to accommodate future change and support high social and environmental ambitions. Despite financial setbacks in the 1970s, it has grown to be one of the UK’s most successful cities, and is set to double its population through urban extensions. MK contains a number of celebrated stewardship organisations, including the Parks Trust, which manages MK’s extensive green infrastructure. It is also home to Britain’s only Business Neighbourhood Plan and the MK development tariff.

Key facts:

  • Location: 72 kilometres north west of London, 92 kilometres south west of Birmingham.
  • 2011 Census population: 211,062, in 82,175 households.
  • Local authority: Milton Keynes Council.
  • Local Plan status: Milton Keynes Core Strategy (adopted 2013) and saved policies from the Milton Keynes Local Plan 2001-2011 (adopted 2005).

New Town designation:

  • Designated: 23 January 1967.
  • Designated area: 8,870 hectares.
  • Intended population: 250,000 (population at designation: 40,000).
  • Development Corporation: The plan for MK used innovative approaches to community and social development, with its grid containing a series of neighbourhood centres and one large central area to serve the whole town, all set within a comprehensive green infrastructure network. Development Corporation wound up 31 March 1992.

Figures taken from Milton Keynes ‘5 minute’ fact sheet – TCPA New Towns and Garden Cities, Lessons for Tomorrow research, available here.

Council website:

Information about regeneration:

Local museums and archives:

Milton Keynes Museum:

Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre:

Living Archive Milton Keynes:

Milton Keynes Council Archives:

Milton Keynes is 50:

Photo credits: Carolin Brown

Updated: 1st April, 2020