New world class university is to be built in Central Milton Keynes

Council leader Pete Marland
Council leader Pete Marland

A new “world class” university is to be built in Central Milton Keynes, just across the block from the rail station.

This week MK Council designated block B4, land between the station and Sainsbury’s, for the uni building.

To be called MK:U, it could house at least 5,000 students and be open by 2023.

The council, which has invested around £10m in the scheme, has already approved a partnership with Cranfield University to lead the project.

The uni will focus on technology and play a major role in the prestigious Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor development.

Council leader Pete Marland said: “A new university in the centre of MK in a world class building has for years been an aspiration. Labour-led MK Council is moving it one step closer to reality.”

He added: “Milton Keynes is one of the most successful cities in the UK and our ambition is to make sure we have the right facilities to keep it that way.

“Our plans for the university will ensure that we have a world class place for local young people and those from outside the area to learn.

"It will focus on the skills for the future, a proper technology university. Cranfield is already a world-class uni and having them as a partner to deliver this adds even more credibility. MK was built on thinking big... I’m proud we are following in those footsteps and matching the ambition of the MK pioneers.”

The new university building is likely to be a far-from-boring addition to the Central Milton Keynes landscape.

For MK Council has decided to spend £350,000 launching an international competition to scour the globe for the best possible architectural designs.

Council leader Pete Marland said: “We are taking the decision that with an international design competition, the city centre site will be home to the new university, our very own world class MK:U.”

The university will be designed as an education institution for the 21st century, delivering a STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum in key areas including digital, cyber, autonomy, robotics and artificial intelligence.

It is part of the long-term vision of the city playing a major role in the Oxford-MK - Cambrige corridor.