Milton Keynes Development Corporation 1967-1992

How it all began with the Milton Keynes Development Corporation.

The creation of the new city of Milton Keynes, designed by a Government Order of 23rd January 1967, was overseen by Milton Keynes Development Corporation which was formally established on 13th March 1967. Board Members included prominent local and national representatives of business, the professions and academia as well as from the local and county councils.Within 25 years, MKDC attracted over 80,000 jobs, oversaw the construction of 44,000 houses and planted 14 million trees and shrubs.

At its peak in the 1980s, MKDC employed 1700 people. Its starting point and guiding principles were incorporated in the Master Plan for Milton Keynes, commissioned from Richard Llewellyn-Davies by Lord ‘Jock’ Campbell, MKDC’s first Chairman, and published in March 1970.By March 1992, when the Corporation was wound up under its second Chairman, Lord Chilver, the population of the Borough had increased more than three-fold to 183,000, with the city providing 83 new schools, 10 new health centres, over 100km of new city roads and nearly 230km if unique cycle Redways.

Information from Milton Keynes, Images and Reality – Bendixson, 1992; and MKDC’s 1st Annual Report

Comments about this page

  • We first visited MK in 1980 after our company’s UK operations, Stone & Webster relocated there. It was an eye-opener, as there were no hotels and we stayed at the Bedford Arms. The office was a sprawling building called Stone & Webster House over the British Rail station. We were often told that it was a US type town, but we could find very little in common with US, other than the massive shopping center. In subsequent years, we stayed at the Forte and Hilton Hotels, which cropped up. We used to visit MK at least once a year and really got to know the town. We enjoyed seeing it develop from a little country town to a flourishing town, even though Stone & Webster is no longer around, per se.

    By Ashok Khanna (23/01/2017)
  • We do have lots more information – interviews and photographs about MKDC in our archives.
    Most of the entries on this website are added by our by volunteers when they have time. Unfortunately, we have a massive backlog of archive material waiting to be digitised and made accessible. You can see the progress in our online catalogue -http://www.communitycatalogues.co.uk/view.aspx

    By Melanie Jeavons (21/09/2016)
  • I have returned to study MK after many years as a geography teacher with an interest in town planning and urban geography.
    I find the city most interesting. It is a unique attempt to cope with the motor car and create a way of life built on a grid system mostly invisible from the intersecting roads. The visual feel of the place is unlike any other that I know of. Because it is so unusual it takes some getting used to. One has to think differently to appreciate the place. (The city centre is necessarily less unique, but in itself is very interesting).
    The red routes are an essential element of the place. They are exciting and interesting and very well composed.It is a pity they are not used more. Perhaps small electric vehicles should be developed especially to make use of them, for older less active people.This would supplement the cycles which are the preferred means of transport.
    The wonderful amount of greenery and open spaces, and the thoughtful way they have been integrated is to be highly commended, as is the landscaping which has introduced delightful water features which are huge attractions, adding to the previously existing canal and river systems.
    I cannot speak too highly about what I have seen of the city so far.
    I am disappointed there is no central tourist centre promoting the great success of everything.The library does not seem to be fulfilling this requirement, and so far I can find no other body that is doing so.
    There is much to be thought about and debated.(Not everything is perfect!). It is a pity this is not happening. The place should be one of the geographical attractions of the UK.

    By David Smart (21/09/2016)
  • I must support the above comments by JLE. The records all exist in the archives. You have interviewed many of the leading personalities. This entry reflects nothing of the twenty five years of outstanding commitment of so many people. There is a fully documented book out there waiting to be written.
    CMWK (22/05/2015)

    By Colin Kempson (21/05/2015)
  • Why is there so little content about MKDC ? I worked there 8 years during the 1980’s and there is so little on this section to explain about all the work,projects etc carried out.The marketing of MK is a story in itself on how people were encouraged to move here.Also there was a whole library of thousands of slides which documented so much visually, and should be part of the history and development of MK. Disappointed in this, it seems like just the bare minimum has been said here about a wonderful era.You are not using the resources that must still exist to make this an exciting and interesting website.Pity…

    By JLE (27/09/2014)

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