Milton Keynes is named a European City of Sport for 2020

Milton Keynes has won its bid to be a named as a European City of Sport for 2020, the mayor has revealed.

Mayor Sam Crooks announced the news at the start of last night’s (Wednesday) meeting of the full Milton Keynes Council.

MK Marathon

MK Marathon

“I am very pleased to announce that we have indeed been named as a European City of Sport for 2020 by ACES Europe,” said the mayor. “It is a non profit association promoting sport as a way of improving people’s quality of life.

“What hope that this will help unlock new opportunities.”

A formal event to make the announcement is being held at the Great Linford Local Centre at 3.15pm this afternoon (Thursday), to coincide with National Table Tennis Day.

The European Cities and Capitals of Sport Federation (ACES Europe) champions the use of sport to improve people’s quality of life, physical and mental wellbeing.

MK won the title after hosting a visit by delegates and was praised for its sporting provision, partnership approach and about how forward-thinking and innovative Milton Keynes is. They plan to raise awareness of the vast array of existing sports and activity in MK.

A year of events will be kicked off to put sport in the spotlight and build-up for the UEFA Women’s Euro’s Football tournament in 2021.

The issue was not a subject of debate at the full council but previously the Conservative group has said there were better ways to fund grassroots sport than spend up to £150,000 on bidding for the title. The cash was to also manage grants to local groups.

The Labour group in September 2018 defended the decision because they think the returns would be a net gain from a social and health perspective, as well as financially.