Valuing place in local community

Last year's community award winner was the Ride High charity
Last year's community award winner was the Ride High charity

MILTON Keynes is fortunate in having a real sense of community among its businesses, writes David Tooley.

Perhaps more than any other place in the region there is a sense of being a part of Milton Keynes – and that’s maybe because they’ve all grown up together as the new city develops.

The Milton Keynes Shopping Centre Association is an example of businesses coming together for the greater good.

The MKSCA represents more than 220 retailers and some 4,500 employees of businesses in thecentre:mk and the Food Centre.

Paul Hunt, who chairs the association, explained: “As a community of retailers in thecentre:mk and Food Centre we have always been very conscious of our place at the heart of the city and as a destination for both the local community, who we know are passionate and fiercely proud of ‘their’ shopping centre, as well as for the wider region.

“We jointly fund the advertising and promotional campaigns and our Christmas display in Middleton Hall has raised over £375,000 since 1985 for over 30 community groups, including Willen Hospice, Church of Christ the Cornerstone, Myrtle Peach Trust, Calvert Trust, MacIntyre Homes, the Arc Charity, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust and RSPCA locally.

“Our members also do a great deal individually to support local voluntary groups and charities.”

The association works in partnership with the owners of both centres over issues of maintenance and quality. It represents its members through engagement with other key organisations - including the statutory bodies.

The association is also a Gold Patron of Milton Keynes & North Bucks Chamber of Commerce and is this year, once again, sponsoring the Business Supporting the Community award in this year’s business excellence awards.

The award will go to a company demonstrating sustained commitment and engagement within the local community.

The winner will be announced at the Chamber’s Business Excellence Awards Dinner on Thursday, October 20, at Doubletree by Hilton, Stadium MK.

To book places for the big night contact the Chamber on: chamberawards@mk-chamber.co.uk, telephone 01908 259000 or e-mail theevents@mk-chamber.co.uk