STADIUM:MK looks set to appear on the silver-screen, courtesy of a brand new cinema complex to be built at the home of MK Dons.
From the ashes of InterMK’s ‘failed’ casino bid come plans to build a new entertainment complex capable of making MK1 one of the most popular sites in Milton Keynes.
Ten cinema screens, one of which could be an IMAX, and eight restaurants will make up the new development, expected to be built on the empty space next to the new retail units being under construction at the stadium site.
After missing out on a casino licence to Xscape and City Limits, InterMK’s revised plans were submitted to Milton Keynes Council this week, and should approval be granted, work could get under way as soon as Easter 2013.
“You could spend your whole weekend here!” joked Pete Winkelman, chairman of MK Dons and InterMK. “People can come down, watch the football, shop, then go out for dinner, go to the cinema and stay at the hotel.
“I wasn’t too disappointed to lose out on the casino bid, as many well know, and this development is the revised application without the casino included.”
While his new retail park looks set to bring around 1,000 jobs to the area, Winkelman believes the new entertainment zone will bring a further 700 jobs to the site.
However, and most importantly for the music mogul, the development will allow him to finish off the much-anticipated Arena, and bring live music back to Milton Keynes.
He said: “I think the most important thing that it will do, aside from creating around 700 jobs, is that it allows us to finish off the Arena – and that is something that Milton Keynes has been crying out for more than anything else.
“With it, we can land the big gigs and get us back on the music map, which is something we are currently missing out on.”
And while many could see the MK1 site as a one-stop shop and alternative to thecentre:mk, Winkelman is keen to see the two working together for the better of the town.
“It shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to Central Milton Keynes and the facilities there. I think they complement each other and go hand in hand. If you look at other big cities, they are made up of many districts that all complement each other.
“This is one of the fasting growing cities, and is one of the only entertainment complexes in the country at the moment to be ready to go.”