‘We’re here in MK and here to stay’

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BANKING giant Santander pledged its future to Milton Keynes at a local dinner sponsored by the company.

Santander Corporate Banking made a rare foray into local sponsorship when it supported a high profile MK Business Leaders dinner to support badminton.

The international banking giant, which employs thousands of people in the new city, is used to having its logo on Formula One cars seen by millions of people but the event at the National Badminton Centre, in Bradwell Road, Loughton Lodge merited special status.

Martyn Dawson, regional director for Anglia and south midlands at Santander Corporate Banking, said: “We are a Spanish heritage bank but we are committed to supporting business in Milton Keynes. We are here to stay.

“The UK has had a £4billion investment from Spain. There is a compelling next 12 months as health comes back to the UK economy.”

Mr Dawson revealed the bank is ‘inundated’ with requests for sponsorship but turns down 95 per cent of appeals for help. But they made an exception for the badminton dinner, organised to give the MK-based badminton centre a boost in advance of the world championships its staff are organising in London from August 8 to 14.

He added: “This event is the exception because it is local but also a national event.”

The National Badminton Centre employs 109 people and makes £11million a year.

Dr Philip Smith, chairman of MK Business Leaders, said badminton was a vital key in the new city’s bid to become an international sporting city, with all the economic boost that gives.

l Willen Hospice received a £250 boost when Mike Robinson, senior partner at PwC, outbid Dr Ann Limb for a badminton T-shirt owned by sporting legend Gail Emms.