The news that Milton Keynes is expected to lead the country’s economic fightback is wonderful, but no surprise! The city benefits greatly from its geographical position, being in the centre of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. This coupled with our strong transport links to London and Birmingham, our efficient grid system and amazing green spaces, make MK the natural location for overspill from these cities – that often have higher costs for commercial space. COVID has caused considerable disruption to the commercial property market and as businesses learn to adapt to the new work methods increased remote working, there will be a natural shift, as firms take a step downwards on the property ladder. Milton Keynes offers great scope to organisations relocating; therefore, we must continue to market our city as the ideal location for business. For instance, the city’s low carbon footprint is a model for sustainable living, something which will resonate with many organisations.
The entrepreneurial spirit upon which our city was founded and that continues to underpin our business community, will hold us in good stead for the future, as we are unlikely to become stagnant in whatever becomes the ‘new normal.’ And our strength in the technical-based economy, coupled with our willingness to embrace technology and adopt it into our everyday lives, the Starship robots being the perfect case in point, will also enable us to adapt to the changing environment – being able to evolve with change is rooted in our culture.
However, it is also important to note that it is not all good news. Our city relies heavily on the hospitality sector and clearly there is a lot of pain being suffered here. I hope sincerely that our collective sense of community will aid our recovery and give thanks that throughout the pandemic the business community has continued to network and pulled together to aid those in need.