Milton Keynes charity ReturnMK has today launched a £10 million crowdfunding drive to buy the iconic The Point building and save it from becoming housing.
A 'Save The Point' website and a Go Fund Me page have been set up in order to help raise funds for the project as the group seeks a £10m donation from private investors, the general public and philanthropists to help buy the building.
Jason Lawrence, trustee and spokesman for the charity and the project respectively, who has been resident alongside other charities within the building since 2017, recently signed a two-year lease with Hammerson - the current owners - and has asked to be involved with the sale of the property.
He states that Savils the estate agent is asking in the region of £6.5-£7m for the property as it stands and has been vying for residential property developers to acquire and redevelop one of the last remaining original iconic buildings of Milton Keynes.
Under the plans to buy The Point and turn it into a community asset, Mr Lawrence revealed it would continue to house important local charities while the bingo hall area will be turned into a banqueting suite for community use. And the old cinema rooms will be used for music concerts, shows, gaming and other private events.
"Plans are in place to reapply for the listing of the building and bring it back to its former glory by renovation and reinstate the lights that so many remember as a beacon to realise they were almost back in Milton Keynes," Mr Lawrence said.
"The Point was used to represent Milton Keynes in most brochures or paraphernalia in its heyday. Therefore, we see it as MK Heritage, and it should remain as that...
"We will continue to use the pyramid section in the same way it is today as it houses multiple charities which help the community immensely with educational and social facilities. Also, a business plan is currently in the making to propose that the old bingo hall be used as a banqueting suite whereby functions of all types can take place such as wedding receptions and conferences. The 10 soundproof auditoriums in the cinema sections will be used as multi-functional purpose-built arenas for music concerts, shows, gaming and the like. The venue will also be hired out to private entities.
"We will not only create jobs, but we will bring some form of culture back to Milton Keynes."
A documentary is being made to raise awareness for the campaign and the project invites locals to come in and speak of their experiences at The Point.
The Point will open its doors to the public on the 1st of September 2021 and give people the chance to see what takes place there at the moment. They will also be asked what they would like to see happen with the building in the future. All of this will be filmed and earmarked for the documentary.
"The residents of MK will be delighted to hear that the lights will be switched back on again on a date soon to be confirmed. They will be able to come to the building and sign the petition and also be a part of the documentary," Mr Lawrence added.