Milton Keynes is fast becoming a global hub for technology related to cars, trains and planes and makes a fitting home for IoD’s new local business hub.
As the face of the Institute of Directors in Milton Keynes, I had the pleasure of hosting the launch of a local business hub at MK College’s Leadership & Business Centre. Guest speaker was Dr Ann Limb OBE DL to speak about progress with the local economic partnership (SEMLEP). As chair of SEMLEP, Ann was well placed to speak on not only this but also the partnership between the college and the IoD, since she was previously principal of the college and also on the national council of the IoD.
Ann wears many other hats in the city and region and commented that it was becoming a hub for all things ‘cars, planes and trains’. In May, Michael Fallon announced the launch of the Aerospace Technology Institute at Cranfield which will help to allocate £2B of funding to research & development projects across the UK. Creation of the Transport Systems Catapult in the city was announced last year, building on the relocation of Network Rail to a new HQ in MK. Amongst the Formula One teams based in MK, Red Bull raced along the ‘home run’ of Milton Keynes to celebrate successive victories and is supported by a host of local technology companies. Too many to mention, but we also have the likes of Nissan at Cranfield too. We really do appear to be in the center of a transport technology hub, and great to see the central government investing in technology and local government championing it.
Talking of hubs, vehicles and speed, Ann was supported by the CEO of SEMLEP, Daniel Mouawad, who took the opportunity to announce the launch of the Velocity Growth Hub up at the MK home of the code breakers, Bletchley Park. This hub offers centralised support to local businesses looking to grow.
Jane Horridge, business engagement director for MK college’s business and leadership centre gave an overview of facilities on offer to both IoD members and also start-up businesses and provided a tour.
Our next event will be on the evening of 11th June run jointly with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) at the MK Dons stadium and will feature talks by the IoD’s new chief economist James Sproule and also Bank of England local agent Phil Eckersley. A back stage tour of facilities by MK Dons partnership development director James Parkinson will also be available. As usual, food and drink will be at hand to lubricate networking before and after the event.
Talking of hubs and lubrication, we host a local pub hub in All Bar One in Milton Keynes Central Business Exchange on Midsummer Boulevard from 5-7 on the first Friday of every month. So that would be next Friday, 7th June. All welcome, no need to book, just turn up and chat.