Milton Keynes Council has released its plans for how it will support the city’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
The Covid-19 Strategic Recovery Framework highlights how the council intends to help the city through what is predicted to be a long and deep recession. The document highlights how Milton Keynes may be in for a much bumpier ride than in previous recessions.
The £2bn recovery plan highlights the need to continue to make Milton Keynes attractive for investment, but that the focus will be on attracting well-paid jobs in green industries in a drive to reduce inequality and increase inclusive growth.
Called “Ambitious for a Green Recovery,” the council will seek to invest in establishing Milton Keynes as a centre for green jobs, with a new Mass Transit System at the heart of a new transport infrastructure. £500,000 is promised this year to support walking, cycling and other sustainable transport innovation. Other infrastructure projects lined up include £400m for a city centre university, a £200m redevelopment of Saxon Court in CMK, a £250m Women’s and Children’s Hospital and hundreds of new council and genuinely affordable homes.
The council has allocated over £2m to support local businesses and people, with funding being targeted at supporting green and well-paid jobs. It is the largest single economic support package yet to be announced by any council in the U.K. The council will spend £1m on helping businesses, with funding allocated to help people learn new skills and retrain. The council is also funding specific support to help women and young people in employment, as evidence shows both groups have been disproportionally impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. The support for women impacted by Covid-19 is the first scheme of its type in England.
Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council said: “The Covid-19 Crisis has changed so much. While people want to get back to normal, it’s clear they don’t want to go back to the broken record of a decade of austerity. We need a recovery that focusses on green jobs while making sure we support people who are in need. Our plan is for greener, stronger communities.”
He continued: “Our plan is ambitious, but we can deliver it if we all pull in the same direction. It will be challenging and involve some difficult choices, but they are choices that must be made. We can’t go back to how things were. We need to support businesses that pay well and do the right thing for the communities they serve. We need cheaper housing. We need to tackle inequality and rising child poverty. We need to support those most impacted by Covid-19 such as women and young people. Our plan sets out how we can achieve that.”
He concluded: “The next few years are likely to be very tough. Our £2bn green plan for the city sets out how we intend to make Milton Keynes the green centre of investment for the recovery. Additionally, the £3m we are promising to spend this year is the largest package by any council in the U.K to support people and businesses through this difficult time. We have so much going for us as a place and this plan will put us in pole position, whilst also ensuring we come out of this crisis a fairer and more equal place.”