MPs vow to bring new university to Milton Keynes

They're disappointed that the funding was not included in the Chancellor's budget last week

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 3:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 3:22 pm

Milton Keynes MPs Ben Everitt and Iain Stewart have reaffirmed their support for the project to bring a new university to the city.

There was disappointment last week when the funding required to get the MK:U building programme started wasn’t included in the Chancellor’s budget, despite a heavy lobbying campaign.

The MPs, Milton Keynes Council and Cranfield University have all been working hard over the past few years to build a business case and a compelling story for the government and the private sector to back. Sadly, it missed out in this year’s budget and spending review.

Artists' impression of the new MK:U university

But there is still hope. The MK:U model is centred around the Government’s levelling up agenda. Its courses will be highly skilled subjects and done in partnership with some of the best know innovators in the business world. The University will be built in the 21st century for 21st century, with a focus on smart cities, AI and new tech.

Mr Stewart and Mr Everitt are now planning a new effort to secure the support needed to get a spade in the ground.

Ben said: "I'm hugely disappointed funding for MK:U wasn't announced in the Budget as I've been lobbying the Government hard in favour of MK:U both publicly and behind-the-scenes since I was elected in 2019.

"I'm continuing to encourage Ministers to look again at the case for the university because it can be a core part of our levelling up agenda by delivering the skills our local businesses need."

Iain said “I have been a strong supporter of MK:U and I have consistently lobbied my ministerial colleagues to get the Government’s backing for this exciting project.”

He added: "Across the country, I am proud that this Government is pursuing its levelling up agenda. However, I believe that MK:U is an integral part of the levelling up agenda. Therefore, I will continue working with Ben Everitt MP, MK Council and other stakeholders to make MK:U become a reality.”

MK's Conservative Council Group Leader Cllr Alex Walker said: “The MPs, MK Council and Cranfield University have wholeheartedly backed MK:U as a levelling up project that would boost MK and the surrounding area.

"While it hasn’t worked out yet, we need to go again with grit and resilience to get MK:U over the line."