Plans are afoot to woo Primark into centre:mk in the new year, the Citizen can reveal.
Sources say shopping centre owners are “bending over backwards” to accommodate the retail giant following the success of the MK1 store near the football stadium.
It is understood they are discussing various options – including persuading an existing large retailer to relinquish its lease at the centre.
But, because Primark requires a three-storey store, this would mean building an extra level on part of the Grade 11 listed shopping building.
This would require special planning permission and could spark a protest from conservationists.
A source said: “The bosses and owners are determined to find a way to get a large Primark store in Central Milton Keynes.
“Slotting Primark into the existing building and extending upwards is the latest idea.”
Director of thcentre:mk Kevin Duffy said: “Primark has a very specific requirement for what they need before taking on a major investment in a flagship store.
“If it is possible to give them the right space in the right location we will do everything we can to make it a reality.”
Primark opened its first store in the city exactly two years ago at MK1 shopping park, two miles from centre:mk.
The store has been a success and is constantly busy.
A source said: “The city centre bosses are still convinced there is room for another Primark in MK – and it would be an even bigger and better one.
Primark this week refused to comment on any plans.
But Kevin Duffy said:“We believe attracting Primark to centre:mk would be great for the city and for the centre.”
> Plans for a purpose-built, flagship Primark store at centre:mk ended abruptly in February 2013.
The shopping centre had applied for planning permission to demolish Secklow Gate Bridge in order to make way for the new facility.
But 11,000 protesters signed a petition saying the loss of the bridge, as well as possible damage to the existing outdoor market, would be a major blow to the city.
The plan, which would have provided a £40 million boost for MK, was withdrawn after months of debate and argument.