Developers working on the new MK Gateway project have announced further details on a planned innovation hub, which they are calling The Shed, which will offer flexible workspace to start-ups and trailblazers in Central Milton Keynes.
MK Gateway will see the sustainable redevelopment of the original Saxon Court building into a future-focussed Knowledge hub, and the development of two new buildings; The Shed and The Village, which will represent a UK-first in the future of urban living.
The Shed was specifically developed as a versatile space for creatives who have, until now, been relegated to the outskirts of Milton Keynes due to high rental rates. The Shed will host hi-tech equipment and bright minds in a bid to showcase local innovation.
With accessible rents, the new development aims to attract entrepreneurs and innovators from fields as diverse as fashion and food, drink and digital.
The Shed was originally due to be a second, smaller residential block, with the overall majority of the planned 288 apartments to rent being housed within a taller block – The Village.
However, after carefully listening to locals throughout several rounds of public consultation, mixed-use developers Socius (formerly known as First Base) and investors Patron Capital, altered the plans in a direct response to calls for creative and independent space for businesses within a central location.
“During the planning stage we made it our mission to work closely, and listen to, local organisations and communities, and there are a large number of businesses looking for a space like this.” Comments Steve Eccles, Project Director, Socius. “The result is plans for a building that is well-designed but straightforward to help offer versatile workshop space that is efficient, yet minimalist, to keep rents low.”
Based on other similar concepts in Oxford and Cambridge, The Shed will be a unique concept within Central Milton Keynes and offer a hub for like-minded people to make, curate, innovate and collaborate. Supporting businesses as they grow, while future-proofing the site, workshop spaces can be reconfigured to suit specific needs.
“We believe that if we start bringing these creative businesses into Central Milton Keynes the value add will be huge,” Steve concludes. “The Shed may become the jewel in the crown of MK Gateway.”
Deputy Leader of MK Council, Cllr Robin Bradburn, comments: “The plans are an exciting new addition to Central Milton Keynes providing start-ups with a creative space. Our city is brimming with aspirational entrepreneurs and spaces like these give them the opportunities to reach their full potential.”