Thousands of pounds of stadium cash must be spent on the arts

Co Op Queensway Bletchley'''Wk 6 MPMC
Co Op Queensway Bletchley'''Wk 6 MPMC

TWELVE thousand pounds of development cash must be spent on a new arts project in Bletchley.

The money, available through a Section 106 planning agreement after the construction of stadium:mk, can only be spent on the arts due to a Milton Keynes Council policy dating from 1991.

The ‘percentage for art’ agreement, adopted as part of the 2005 Local Plan, encourages developers to allocate at least one per cent of capital costs from development projects to public art.

And it means Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Council has no choice but to spend the money on an arts project.

The town council is now looking at the possibility of constructing something inside the disused Co-op building.

A spokesman for MK Council said public arts can boost the economy of an area, but added that the council will be reviewing its policy.

He said: “Section 106 funding is a contribution from developers – it is not taxpayers’ money and is always associated with a specific community benefit or project. This type of funding has a specific timescale attached to it and once agreed we must stick to this agreement, otherwise the developer can ask for their money back and everyone loses out.

“That said, these discussions with the town council are still at a very early stage.”

The town council has agreed to commission the project and officials have said they will be working with the community, with the possibility of working with A-level students at Bletchley College.