Milton Keynes has the greatest potential to grow as a retail centre, according to a report published by Property Week.
Sitting atop the Hot 100 UK retail locations list for the first time, the report highlights how Milton Keynes has overcome its fair share of critics to emerge as the new kid on the block with the greatest mass-market potential to attract leading retailers.
This year’s report - compiled by location experts CACI - provides a rundown of the top 100 towns and cities that have the greatest capacity to support more mass-market retail brands.
Milton Keynes was top of the prestigious list and ranked ahead of other cities in the top ten including: Norwich, Leicester, Birmingham, Plymouth, Reading, Huddersfield, Derby, Nottingham and Leeds.
Milton Keynes’ retail sector already has more than 2,000 wholesale and retail units employing 30,000 people, according to an extract from the Draft 2015 Local Economic Assessment (LEA) due to published at the end of the year.
Only last month independent think tank Centre for Cities Small Business Outlook 2015 revealed Milton Keynes was one of the best places for start-ups to thrive outside London.
John Platt, principal consultant in CACI’s property consulting group, emphasised the importance for cities such as Milton Keynes to have a retail centre with the right mass-market offering.
Pam Gosal, Head of Corporate Economic Development & Inward Investment for Milton Keynes Council , echoed this view and said: “Milton Keynes continues to attract the UK’s flagship retailers and as a result the retail sector continues to make an important contribution to the local economy.”
Cllr Matthew Clifton, cabinet member for Economic Growth and Inward Investment, said: “This is another feather in the cap for Milton Keynes which is demonstrating every year that this is one of the most dynamic places to do business in the country.”
The city also sees more than 43 million shoppers visit centre:mk and intu Milton Keynes every year. Kevin Duffy, centre director for centre:mk said: “As a top 10 UK retail destination centre:mk’s appeal continues to strengthen.
“We find increasing demand across the board with premium operators Hobbs, JD Sports, Jigsaw, Joules, Smiggle, Tiger and White Company all taking out lettings recently.
“Capitalising on the retailer demand means ensuring we create the type of space retailers require which makes for a thriving shopping and retail destination as well as a vibrant city centre.”
The future shape of Milton Keynes including the development of its retail centres are highlighted in a strategic vision that can be viewed here: www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning-policy/plan-mk
To find out more about doing business in Milton Keynes visit: www.investmiltonkeynes.com