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City Council buys empty supermarket building in another huge step towards Bletchley regeneration

Milton Keynes City Council has taken a massive step towards putting the heart back into Bletchley Town Centre after revealing it has sealed a deal to buy the former Sainsbury’s site in the town.

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 already own the Brunel Centre next door meaning that a large part of the town centre is now under the ownership of the City Council-owned company as they look to take forward ambitious community-led regeneration plans.

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. Buying the old supermarket site will allow the City Council 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. Cash to buy the site has been provided by the Town’s Deal Fund and will not impact investment on other projects or services in the city.

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.

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.”

He concluded:

“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.”

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