Community & Environment

Primark Is Coming to Centre:MK
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Primark Is Coming to Centre:MK

The leading value fashion chain has confirmed it will be opening a store at centre:mk next year, in the heart of Milton Keynes.

centre:mk has confirmed that Primark will be opening the doors to one of its biggest stores in the UK in 2019. The Primark store will occupy an extension of the former BHS store on Silbury Arcade and is set to be the largest new store to open in centre:mk in the last 25 years.

Covering 75,000 sq ft, the store will showcase the entire Primark range. It joins 190 stores and the existing fashion retail mix at centre:mk, which includes John Lewis, House of Fraser, River Island, JD Sports, Kurt Geiger, Marks & Spencer, and Jigsaw, amongst others.

The signing of Primark is a key milestone in the centre’s “Re-imagining an icon” strategy, which is investing over £60m in the centre:mk over three years. Key initiatives of the programme include the recently completed £10m refurbishment of Sunset Walk, the award-winning Guest Services unveiled in June, and a new 1,400-space multi-storey car park currently under construction. All improvements respond to specific consumer needs, with Primark the most requested brand by visitors in exit surveys for the last five years.

Kevin Duffy, Centre Director at centre:mk, commented:
“We are thrilled to announce that Primark will be joining our fantastic selection of fashion and beauty brands at centre:mk next year. This is a key moment for us – the new flagship store will be the single biggest store since we introduced Marks & Spencer to centre:mk nearly 25 years ago. Primark is a firm fashion favourite, and so we look forward to attracting more visitors by expanding the centre’s fashion retail mix.”

Pam Gosal, Head of Economy and Culture at Milton Keynes Council, added:
“Primark's decision to open a flagship store in the heart of the city confirms Milton Keynes retail dominance in the South East. The store will be celebrated by our locals as well as the thousands of regional visitors we attract and will be complemented by the existing retail offer available throughout centre:mk. Investments of this nature reflect the confidence that businesses continue to have in the Milton Keynes economy."

A spokesperson at Primark, added: “Working with the joint owners of centre:mk, we have achieved our longstanding objective of bringing Primark to the city centre in a
store that will be emblematic of our brand. We are joining a fantastic line-up of brands at centre:mk that provide visitors with everything they need.”

BFC Patronage
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BFC Patronage

To announce the news that centre:mk has become the latest patron of the British Fashion Council (BFC), just in time for London Fashion Week Women’s 2017, please find our messaging strategy below.


We will announce the news and continue to reiterate the patronage throughout the year  by amplifying the following messaging:

  • centre:mk’s patronage with the British Fashion Council recognises and adds credibility to the fashion and beauty retail offer in-centre
  • The patronage means centre:mk is rubbing shoulders with the very best of global fashion and beauty brands, and media houses
  • It is a platform for centre:mk to support budding designers outside of London, ensuring they have the opportunity to grow and develop into the brands of tomorrow.

We recommend that the below is shared with media to communicate and amplify the announcement to both consumer [local and national] and retail and fashion trade titles. Please note that this messaging will also be communicated on the new website, which will be launching in October, and will seek to inform how we address the patronage in communications going forward.

centre:mk is thrilled to have become the latest patron of the British Fashion Council (BFC), just in time for London Fashion Week 2017, rubbing shoulders with the very best fashion and beauty brands in the world. The centre is and continues to be committed to investing in driving and supporting the UK’s cutting-edge fashion beauty industries.

The patronage, which has been set up in recognition of the centre’s unique mix of fashion and beauty retail, is a key moment for Milton Keynes, putting the town on the fashion map this year, and for years to come.

Other BFC patrons include Fenwick, Harrods, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Net-A-Porter.

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centre:mk, one of the top ten shopping destinations in the UK, will debut Milton Keynes Council’s Electric Vehicle Experience Centre (EVEC).

The EVEC launch comes as part of the wider Milton Keynes Go Ultra Low Cities Programme, in which £9 million was awarded to the city in January 2016 to encourage the uptake of low emission vehicles and hit the target of 23 per cent of all car sales being electric or plug-in by 2020.  Milton Keynes is one of only four lead UK cities and authorities to win part of a £40million government fund in the Go Ultra Low Cities programme and highlight the city as one of the most sustainable in Europe.

The EVEC will be the first of its kind to launch in the UK and will be managed by Chargemaster, the UK’s biggest name in electric vehicle charging.  Situated at 26 and 28 Crown Walk and covering 3,870 sq ft, the centre will display new electric vehicle technology from a range of car manufacturers including Mitsubishi, Nissan and Renault– regularly rotating between makes and models as exciting new models enter the market. centre:mk will showcase the vehicles, offer demos and provide highly trained independent professionals to answer customer questions and refer interested visitors to a relevant local dealership or partner leasing company.

Kevin Duffy, Centre Director at centre:mk, commented: “We are excited to be supporting this initiative from Milton Keynes Council that demonstrates an innovative and committed approach to improving the future for the region.  Showcasing the latest low emissions vehicles to the millions of visitors further enhances the centre:mk’s importance as one of the top 10 prime retail and leisure destinations within the UK.”

Visitors to centre:mk will be able to experience the modern and technologically advanced space, designed by motor industry retail specialists TRO, and learn about sustainable motoring for private and business use.  As an added bonus, Milton Keynes residents and businesses will also be able to test-drive a range of vehicles as well as lease low-emission vehicles on a longer term with the help of heavily subsidised rates from the EVEC.

Brian Matthews from Milton Keynes Council added:This one-of-a-kind showroom will prove to be a high-profile resource, enabling visitors of centre:mk to

experience the initiative in a high-quality environment. Their support throughout our low emissions initiative will no doubt attract visitors and add real value to the centre.  We look forward to presenting the technology at such a distinctive retail and leisure destination, and believe that this partnership will have a truly positive impact on Milton Keynes.”

 David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, said: “Being part of such a high-profile and diverse project is very exciting for Chargemaster. The EV Experience Centre in MK will be the first of its kind and we are sure it will pave the way for other cities to follow in its footsteps. We are greatly looking forward to welcoming MK residents to the EVEC and to showing them everything that going green has to offer.”

This news follows the recent completion of the Sunset Walks £10 million refurbishment and investment, in addition to significant brand enhancements over the past 18 months including Kiehls, T2, Molton Brown and ASK.

MMX Retail and CBRE acted for centre:mk. Chargemaster represented Electric Car Experience Centre.

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Hermes Investment Management, the £28.6 billion manager focused on delivering superior, sustainable, risk adjusted returns to its clients – responsibly and AustralianSuper, co-owners of centre:mk, have today announced plans for a £60 million investment in the centre.

Over the next three years, the grade two-listed building will undergo a series of enhancements focused on re-imagining the iconic principles that led to the creation of one of the UK’s most dominant UK regional shopping centres. The £60 million investment programme includes the recently completed £10m refurbishment of Sunset Walk, designed by architecture and design company, Rawls. The next phase will see the development of new state of the art customer facilities on Deer Walk, including a customer service lounge, family facilities and WCs, together with work beginning this spring on a new 1,400 space multi–storey car park adjoining John Lewis.

Other initiatives will embrace the latest digital technology with a new centre:mk app, website, social media platform, signage and wayfinding, focused on providing visitors with information and inspiration to help them get the most from their visit.

Ed Sellick, on behalf of centre:mk’s joint owners, Hermes Investment Management and AustralianSuper, commented: “ Our £60 million programme of investment is designed to enhance the experience for visitors, leading to increased sales for our retailers and restaurants. As the town of Milton Keynes enters its 50th year, at centre:mk, ‘Re-Imagining an Icon’ is seeking to re-equip the UK’s first listed shopping mall for the 21st century. It is about reflecting and paying homage to the building’s iconic status, whilst at the same time reappraising what happens inside and, finally, the role centre:mk plays in Milton Keynes.”


Kevin Duffy, Centre Director added: “centre:mk plays a significant role regionally  as we provide a critical mass and diversity of offer unavailable elsewhere. The investment in the malls, wayfinding, facilities and customer service will collectively allow us to build upon the place making we have created and further improve the space. These plans ensure centre:mk is always relevant for the consumer and retailers and will create a refreshing, exciting and modern look and feel within the iconic destination.”

The ‘Re-Imagining an Icon’ strategy builds on the significant enhancements made to centre:mk’s brand line-up over the last 18 months. Jigsaw, Hobbs, Joules, Cath Kidston, Kiehl’s, Molton Brown, The White Company and Pandora have all opened new stores on Sunset Walk, concentrated around House of Fraser, to create a critical mass of premium brands. In addition, Smiggle, T2 and Flying Tiger have all launched successful stores and Ask has recently opened its new restaurant opposite John Lewis.

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On Sunday 29th January 11am – 5pm, over 500 teenagers will be taking over the Middleton Hall, at the regional shopping destination, thecentre:mk  to compete for custom and demonstrate their business skills in the 2017 Young Enterprise Trade Fair.

Representing over 50 schools from Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, East Anglia  and London, the students have been manufacturing and selling a variety of products and services during their academic year in the Young Enterprise Company Programme and Team Programme.  Here they learn about business first-hand through setting up and running a real company.

Kevin Duffy, Centre Director at centre:mk, says, “We are proud to be supporting these local young people taking part in the Young Enterprise Trade Fair. It is really important for the community to harness the passion and enthusiasm these students have shown for business and enterprise, and we at centre:mk are delighted to be hosting this fantastic event as the ideal platform for these young people.”

With advice from local business volunteers, the students elect a board of directors from among their peers, raise share capital and market and finance a product or service of their own choice.  At the end of the year they liquidate the company and present a report and accounts.

Some of the products on sale at the Young Enterprise Milton Keynes Trade Fair will include: bags, Apps, Music CDs, personalized T-shirts, books, toys, wooden items, cards, mugs, key rings, magnets, mirrors and juggling balls. 

Mary Cloake, Young Enterprise Area Manager South Central said of the event ‘this is the twelfth major YE fair at centre:mk. It will be a marvellous showcase for the achievements of these young budding entrepreneurs in developing their skills, knowledge and confidence, in just one year.  We are extremely grateful to centre;mk for their continued support of this event’.

For a booking form, email:


About the Company Programme

  • The Company Programme, supported by HSBC, is Young Enterprise’s flagship programme, running for young people aged between 14 and 19
  • Participants set up their own companies and run them for an academic year, under the guidance of local business mentors
  • 2013/14 student self assessment surveys found that 82% felt taking part in the Company Programme gave them the confidence to succeed in the future
  • 94% of teachers agreed that the Company Programme increased student self-awareness in their own capabilities and potential and raised their career aspirations.


About Young Enterprise and pfeg

  • Young Enterprise is the UK’s leading enterprise and financial education charity working with young people aged 4 to 25
  • Following the recent merger of pfeg into Young Enterprise, we are a specialist ‘one stop shop’ for students and teachers, empowering young people to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need for work and in life
  • With 14 years of experience, pfeg continues to support teachers, government, consumer bodies and financial industry representatives to assist schools in delivering personal finance education to the highest possible standards – enabling children and young people to understand money and make informed choices to support their long term economic well-being
  • Our extensive network means we are supported by more than 5,000 volunteers and 3,500 businesses in schools, colleges and universities
  • We also support teachers in 18,000 schools to plan and deliver financial education programmes
  • For over 50 years Young Enterprise has worked with over four million young people across the UK to empower them to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need for the world of work through enterprise
  • We are part of the global network JA-YE that operates in over 120 countries
  • For more information on pfeg see or email
  • For more information on Young Enterprise please see or email Kate Corry on