AFTER six years of hard work involving planning, meetings and negotiations, Milton Keynes Council has announced the successful applicant in the bid for a large casino in the city - Xscape.
The council’s Licensing sub-committee resolved on Thursday that it was granting a Provisional Statement to Aspers – an established casino operator. The award of the statement will enable them to apply for a large casino licence in due course.
The £10 million pound investment in the city will take place within the existing Xscape complex in Central Milton Keynes and provide not only gaming tables and machines but also bars, dining and entertainment offers.
The winning bid was judged to provide the best all round package to Milton Keynes. It will provide not only a new completely different – yet responsibly managed - kind of leisure facility for Milton Keynes, but numerous associated facilities and benefits for the local community, as well as creating scores of jobs.
A substantial annual donation of at least £500K for the life of the casino will be made to the council annually in order to support local communities with new initiatives. The council will become a stakeholder in the financial success of the venture.
Aspers have indicated that they are committed to being a key player in the Milton Keynes community and already have plans in place to fulfil this promise.
Other benefits to the city will be in the form of retraining or ‘up-skilling’ opportunities, through Milton Keynes Job Centre Plus and Milton Keynes College. Jobs will be created during the construction phase of the casino and after it is built.
This outcome has been the result of two years’ work by a small team of council officers and advisors who enabled all three applicants to carefully construct their final bids.
Councillors were provided with the outcomes of the negotiations under nine different headings, and they had to make the final decision to ensure a quality product will be delivered by the winner.
Due to Milton Keynes’s location in the South East Midlands there are more than eight million people living within a one hour drive, so the Borough is considered a prime location by the casino sector. This resulted in very competitive bids for this commercial opportunity.