Milton Keynes City Council buys empty supermarket building in bid to 'revitalise' area

    The City Council has sealed a deal to purchase the the former Sainsbury's building in Bletchley, which the Council Leader says has become a 'dilapidated eyesore'.

    The City Council’s independent development arm Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP) has acquired the site of the former supermarket which is currently derelict and subject to vandalism.

    MKDP purchased the Brunel Centre last year, meaning that a large part of the town centre is now under the ownership of the City Council-owned company.

    The City Council states that plans are already moving forward to develop the old police and fire station site, build a new Eastern entrance to Bletchley train station, develop a new transport hub, and improve parking.

    With ownership of the former Sainsbury's site, the City Council will now have more control over how regeneration of the historic town centre takes place while working with the local Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Towns Deal Board, the two local town and parish councils, and resident groups.

    The supermarket closed back in 2020, despite petitions from local residents.

    The cash for the site was funded by The Town’s Deal Fund.

    The news also comes after proposals have been made for funding in next year’s City Council budget to attract more events to Queensway such as food festivals and offer grants to entrepreneurs who want to open small business on the high street.

    Funding will also go on adding small improvements to the public realm such as flower planters and street repairs.

    The City Council Leader has said expressed that he is 'pleased; with the purchase of the site, which he has described as now being a 'dilapidated eyesore'.

    Cllr Pete Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes City Council, said: “I’m really pleased that the City Council has been able to buy the old Sainsbury’s building in Bletchley Town Centre.

    "It’s currently a dilapidated eyesore but more importantly it means that because we also own the Brunel Centre, we now have a lot more local control over how we move forward with community-led regeneration of the historic town centre.”

    He continued: “Regeneration takes time, but we are putting all the pieces in place to move forward with some ambitious schemes that will revitalise the area and bring the town centre back to its former glory. We will act as quickly as possible to get rid of the current building that attracts anti-social behaviour and vandalism while cutting one side of the town centre off from the train station.

    "We can’t turn back the clock, but we can work with the community to make sure that our plans deliver the change people want to see and that retain the unique and proud history of the town.”

    “In the short term we’re also proposing funding to start to bring more life into Bletchley with events such as food festivals, live music, and improvements to the public realm. Labour is committed to long-term investment in Bletchley that delivers the regeneration that has been promised for decades but never delivered. We want to put the heart back into the town centre and these plans will help us do exactly that.”

    Iain Stewart MP, who sits on the Bletchley Towns Fund Deal Board, has issued the below comment about the purchase of the old Sainsbury’s building in Bletchley which has been made possible because of Government funding: “This deal has been made possible by the £23m of Towns Fund Deal money from the Government. It will reinvigorate and improve Bletchley Town Centre for all residents.

    “I will continue to work with all the Members of the Bletchley Towns Fund Deal Board to make sure that this money is used effectively and efficiently, something that the Labour-ran Council are jeopardising with their proposed plans of reducing Saxon Street to a single carriageway.”

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