Arts Update

Arts Update from Lucy Bedford, Arts Officer MK Council:

European Capital of Culture – it is early days and it will be a while yet before we really know the impact of Brexit on the Capital of Culture titles.  The work we’re doing in Milton Keynes is essential to building a strong cultural future and as such we will continue preparing the sector and the borough as a cultural hotspot.  I’ll keep you posted as and when we learn more.

New Council Logo – we have launched a new logo.  If you are a council partner and you use the logo on your website or marketing material, please do update to our new style.  Drop us an email if you don’t have a copy of it already.

Anouar Kassim MBE – congratulations to Anouar who runs the Art in the Park festival and MK Islamic Art, Heritage & Culture Group on his MBE which was awarded for his contribution to interfaith relations.  A well deserved recognition!

Writer in Residence – this month we welcomed Rachel Barnett to Gareth Davey as Writers in Residence until October 2017.  Rachel is mentoring Gareth who is a young local writer and they have already created a Creative Writing Education Resource for schools which is now with the designers.  Rachel will be running workshops to support the development of short stories about our public art collection.  If you’d like to know where and when she’ll be somewhere drop me a line

IF:MK & MK Fringe Festival – the programmes are out for the complementary festivals – if you don’t have one then do pop to your local library, saxon court or the tourist information office run by Destination MK.   IF:MK are doing their final push for volunteers for Dominoes – if you could help please do drop them a line as they’d be pleased to hear from you.

No more Mobiles – we now have access to our work calendars and emails on our personal phones and therefore the council are phasing out corporate mobiles.  If you need to contact a member of the team they can be contacted via the council switchboard (01908 691691) or drop us an email in the usual way and we will call you back as soon as possible.




Blog Post Charities & Community Groups News from and for the VCS

Looking for a small charity to share their premises

Joint Civil Aid Corps are looking for a small charity to share their premises

Colin and I head the Joint Civil Aid Corps, a voluntary emergency support organisation.  We are based at the Point in Central Milton Keynes.  We use the Point mainly in the evenings and weekends and are looking for a small charity who are looking for office/training space during the daytime.  We are looking for a charity to partner with that we can trust and work with.  There is no rent or rates so the only cost will be utilities.  If you are interested, it would be far easier to discuss things in person, so please contact me at and I’ll get back to you to arrange a meeting at the Point.


Blog Post News from and for the VCS

Milton Keynes Inclusive Tennis

MK Inclusive Tennis run accessible and affordable tennis lessons for disabled children and adults throughout Milton Keynes, and are currently offering free tennis lessons for children and young adults between the ages of 11-25.

They run disability tennis sessions for wheelchair users, the blind/visually impaired and the deaf/hearing impaired.  These are at a number of locations in Milton Keynes including David Lloyd, Newport Pagnell Tennis Club and Oakgrove Leisure Centre.

Currently they are running wheelchair tennis for adults and young people 11-25 years, blind/VI tennis for adults, young people 11-25 years and children from 5-11 years and deaf/HI tennis for young people 11-25 years.

They provide all of the equipment free of charge including sports wheelchairs, sound balls for the VI sessions and rackets, so all you need to do is come dressed for sport and bring a sense of fun.

Whilst learning about tennis, they also promote higher self-esteem, optimism, a healthier lifestyle, discipline, responsibility and teamwork.

All of the sessions are led by fully qualified LTA registered, DBS checked and First Aid trained coaches who have been working with disabled children and adults for years.

Tennis is a wonderfully social sport to play and can really help with hand/eye coordination along with agility, balance, co-ordination and speed.

For more information please visit http://www.mkinclusivetennis,co,uk or call 07790 000586.  Centre for Integrated Living.




Blog Post Health & Wellbeing News from and for the VCS

The M&S Energy Community Energy Fund is Back for 2016

They’re pleased to announce that the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund is open for applications with £350,000 to distribute to community groups across the UK this summer.

There’s £12,500 up for grabs in each M&S region across Great Britain to use towards the installation of a renewable technology and generate energy for your community building.

Whether you’re a community energy group, a sports club or simply an organisation that wants to have a positive impact on the environment, we want to hear from you.

What do I need to do to apply?
Online applications are now open and you have until 31st May 2016 to tell us all about your project to be in with a chance to win funding.

A tip to support your application preparation:

  1. Make sure Planning Permission or Permitted Development Rights has been approved prior to application
  2. You will need to submit cost quotes from your installer so have this document ready to upload






Blog Post Funding

What’s been happening?

IF:MK Needs YOU!! – Milton Keynes’ International Festival will be here in July and the team have put together an incredibly exciting programme with the best international artists bringing work to the city.  One major commission is the Dominoes Project which requires 200 volunteers – please join me and them on the day –sign up here

Public Art at MKC – We are excited to announce that Public Art specialist Fiona Boundy will be joining our team on a part-time basis to support delivery of public art schemes in some of the estates

Writer in Residence – we received a whopping 22 applications for the writer in residence role with applications from amazing creative individuals.  We are incredibly excited announce that Rachel Barnett will be taking on the role!

Paid work for Artists – schools have received ring-fenced funding to bring artists into the school setting.  To be considered for this work, all you have to do is register on the Culture Challenge website by downloading the form from‘here’or contacting

Creative Producer – MK Gallery have appointed Niki Braithwaite as Creative Producer.  She has previously worked for Arts Council England as Head of Visual Arts and Wysing Arts Centre.  We are very lucky to have attracted her to Milton Keynes for this project which will deliver the City Club programme

MK Gallery Planning Permission – earlier this month MK Gallery also received confirmation that their planning application was approved.  Follow their expansion story over the next 18-months

Studio SpaceArts Gateway currently has space for artists’ studios, workshops and events in central MK and Oldbrook, starting at £12 p/w




Blog Post

Carnival 2016 – Funds available!

For local schools, communities and charities.

Design your own float.  £250 available to West Bletchley schools and community groups to design, build and parade your own float at Carnival.  PLUS a chance to double your funds with a further £250 prize money!

Nominate your charity.  Local charities can be awarded funds raised from Carnival 2016.  Simply complete our easy form to tell us about yourselves and how you serve the West Bletchley community.

Register your interest now!


Blog Post News from and for the VCS

NHS Milton Keynes CCG Public Consultation

The consultation started on 15 February and ends on 2 May.

Arden and GEM CSU would like to encourage the public to complete a short questionnaire to share their views by one of the following:

They can also be contacted as follows:

Jittesh Solanki – Engagement and Consultation Support Officer

NHS Arden and Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit

St John’s House, East Street, Leicester, LE1 6N

T: 0116 295 4183  M: 07920 782 522


Blog Post Consultation News from and for the VCS