Milton Keynes shopping centre unveils £40m investment plans

Secklow Gate, Milton Keynes Owners of thecentre:MK hope that opening up the area will make it more "pedestrian friendly".

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Plans for a £40m investment in a Grade II listed shopping centre have been unveiled in Buckinghamshire.

The proposal for thecentre:mk in Milton Keynes includes taking down part of a bridge and building a 90,000 sq ft retail unit.

The market currently underneath Secklow Gate bridge will be moved to another location at the centre.

Following a public exhibition of the proposals, a planning application will be submitted to Milton Keynes Council.

Built during the 1970s, thecentre:mk currently has more than 230 stores trading under one roof.

It is jointly owned by two UK property management companies, Hermes Property Asset Management Ltd and Prudential Property Investment Managers Ltd who are financing the project.

'Pedestrian friendly'

Secklow Gate bridge crosses over the town's market near Midsummer Arcade and is used for deliveries.

The plans, which will also create a further 17,500 sq ft retail unit and an improved market site, involve the removal of the southern section of the bridge.

Melanie Beck from thecentre:mk said they wanted to make the area "more friendly for pedestrians" to access the various elements of the city.

"In order to connect the Xscape centre and the theatre district and all the other parts that make up such a great city, that bridge acts as quite a barrier," she said.

"We believe that if we take down one side of that bridge, we will open up that whole area."

She added that the market was an "absolutely intrinsic part" of their plans and that they were working with the market operator on relocation.

The plans will be on show in Middleton Hall at the centre on 20 and 21 July.

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