Improving amenities at Milton Park
Published on 29 September 2022
We’re committed to delivering a high quality environment at Milton Park and want to ensure those working here can access the amenities they need to minimise travel further afield during the working day. Work has been taking place behind the scenes to create the best possible amenities for people on the Park and living close by.
For those of you that remember, at the end of 2019, off the back of the launch of the 2040 Vision, we undertook an amenities survey to help shape our community and find out what the users of Milton Park wanted from improved and future amenities. This included food and drink provisions, leisure activities, community facilities such as a nursery, pharmacy, Post Office and convenience stores, and anything else people always thought was needed to make their day easier and more enjoyable.
Feedback was really positive and we had over 1,000 responses. It was reassuring to know that both our occupiers and residents of the local community shared our enthusiasm to turn an already great Milton Park into something outstanding.
Expert hospitality and property consultant Lemon Fox were appointed to review the survey results and engage with our amenity providers. Extensive interviews were carried out to review the current offering, suggesting options for improvements in the short term and looking at what is needed for the future to achieve our 2040 Vision.
In March 2020, Lemon Fox produced a report presenting a vision for Milton Park’s future amenities. Then Covid-19 hit, resulting in a national lockdown.
Obviously, nobody could foresee the pandemic and the devastating effects it would have on the economy. The reduction in footfall massively impacted operations and in particular, this affected our amenity providers. I am proud of the team and how they worked to restructure leases to support the amenity providers and it was very sad to see a few of them take the difficult decision to close.
Two years on, in March 2022, Lemon Fox revisited the project post Covid and the change in work habits, reprioritising the recommendations.
The first part of this plan saw the opening of the Hive Café at the Bee House, run by Pierreponts, which also manages Pierreponts Café at the Innovation Centre. Milton Park’s biggest eatery is being enjoyed by people working here and living locally. If you haven’t tried it already, it’s got such a buzz about the place and serves breakfast and lunch, a range of hot and cold drinks, cakes and snacks. If you’ve got an electric car, you can also use the EV charging facilities while you eat or drink.
In meantime, to fill the gap in our food and beverage offering, we’ve increased the Milton Feast to two days a week and invited more mobile vans and pop-up stalls to trade on the Park. Horsebox Coffee now has a base outside Milton Park Security four mornings a week and is running regular promotions.
Currently, we are running a design competition with architectural firms, specialising in retail and placemaking, to take the lead on bringing forward a new vision to reinvigorate the Park Centre canopy area. This is part of a drive to increase the current number and range of amenities encouraging others to come on board and support those working at Milton Park and the local community. In line with the 2040 Vision, the ambition is also to extend amenity opening hours.
We are grateful to all occupiers and local residents for continuing to share their views. Feedback from the recent Milton Park Greener Workplace Forum was particularly useful.
As part of this next phase of work there will be additional opportunities for people to hear about the proposals and shape Milton Park’s future amenities.
There’s plenty more to come on this exciting project and we’ll be providing regular updates on its progress. Watch this space!
Philip Campbell, Commercial Director at MEPC Milton Park