New developers reveal plans to demolish The Point and build £150m worth of housing and commercial units on iconic site

All hopes of saving the iconic building will now fade

By Sally Murrer
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 12:36 pm

Galliard developers have confirmed they have bought The Point at Central Milton Keynes and intend to demolish it.

They will be submitting a planning application later this year to build build housing and commercial or leisure units on the site - and they will have a Gross Development Value (GDV) of up to £150 million.

A spokesman said: "Working with joint venture partner DS Real Estate, Galliard is looking at bringing new homes as well as ground-floor commercial units or leisure amenities to the site, alongside significant public realm."

The Point in its heyday

He added: "The Midsummer Boulevard site is well located for enjoying Milton Keynes’ extensive shopping and leisure facilities, as well as the fast transport links into London and Birmingham."

The news comes as a blow for campaigners who formed the Save The Point group, who wanted the building to be preserved an used to help disadvantaged young people, as well as a centre for information, guidance and advocacy.

Led by local charity ReturnMK, they launched petitions, which gathered thousands of signatures, and also started a £10 million crowdfunding drive to buy the building.

Their hopes were fuelled when a previous planning application for a multi-million pound housing development expired last year.

The Point at CMK

Developers Hammerson had been given consent in 2014 to demolish and redevelop entertainment complex. The plans included replacing the famous red pyramid with a new design named 'The Piano', incorporating a modern vertical black and white stripe pattern, to provide retail and new up-to-date leisure facilities.

But no work took place and the planning permission expired in March last year. Hammerson did not apply for an extension of time and put the site up for sale.

They described the site as a "brownfield redevelopment opportunity" with the potential to construct 450 flats.

A spokesperson for Hammerson said last year: “The plans for the leisure and retail development were created in a very different environment to the one we are in now and we are currently considering next steps for the site.”

"Since the acceptance of planning permission from Milton Keynes Council, the plans have been largely protested and rejected by some, with petitions and groups launched to ‘save the point’, due to its history."

The Point was once the centre for all things entertainment. The £7.5 million building opened in 1985 as the very first leisure destination for the new town and was home to one of the UK’s first multiplex cinemas, along with a games arcade, a bingo hall and nightclub.

With its famous red pyramid of light visible from miles around, it was described as a 'beacon of the future' of MK,

However, after nearly 30 years, the building had become outdated and the cinema was struggling to compete with the nearby Xscape, which featured a grand 16 screen multiplex. The Point cinema finally closed in February 2015.

Campaigners even tried at one stage to get the building preserved through listed Grade II status. But Historic England refused the application on the grounds that it lacking architectural merit.