Looking Forward for Love MK Day 2021

With our office hub being in Central Milton Keynes and having been situated here for more than 30 years, the new town has played a huge part of our company history, inspires our process, and features heavily in our team’s every day lives. The past year has kept us mainly ‘out of office,’ but with lockdown easing and Spring bringing in prospects of a ‘new normal’ we asked our colleagues what they were most looking forward to doing here in the future, and what they had learned to love or appreciate about the area throughout the pandemic.

I’ve lived in Milton Keynes for 3 years, but over the past year I’ve really appreciated the MK park and open space network as its enabled me and my young family to walk, run, cycle, picnic, walk the dog, go on adventures, listen to birdsong, learn, laugh, relax and keep healthy. I am really glad I’ll be able to do Park Run again when it restarts in a few weeks’ time.

Ian Wale, Associate Urban Designer

The Point was the UK’s first multi-screen cinema, sadly now closed, but the idea of a big showy building as the home of the big screen seems fitting for MK. I can’t wait to go to the cinema at Xscape again. The excitement of riding up the escalator and the sensual assault in the cinema foyer, with the big screens and the smell of popcorn! I have really missed this during lockdown.

Joanne Cave, Partner

I’ve lived in Milton Keynes for 35 of years (after coming for two) found a wife and fabulous quality of life.  The past year I’ve really appreciated the amazing nature and quietness it has to offer.  Never known one bird or plant from another – in the last year I have now added all sorts of nature identification apps to the phone. The mayflies in a couple of weeks’ time, the cricket at Campbell park, the early evening rambles along the canal – all help the spirit soar.

Nick Freer, Chairman

I’ve lived in and around MK for 17 years now, and this past year I’ve really appreciated the green spaces that it has to offer. As a frequent dog walker and seeker of fresh air, the variety of beautiful open spaces have become a really special part of my life, offering time to exercise, contemplate or just get away from the stresses of everyday life.  I’ll be really glad to see friends again and socialise, something we at DLA do so well!

Natasha Little, Lead Graphic Designer

I don’t live in Milton Keynes but have worked there since 2016. Being away from the office has made me miss the greenery; trees, hedges, grassy banks, parks and water which is everywhere around you. If ever there was a town to cope with lockdown, MK is it!

I’m really looking forward to strolling in Campbell Park again at lunchtime, visiting MK Gallery for lunch and fingers crossed that the pop-up cinema there is able to return.

Debbie Lloyd, Development Consultant

I’ve lived in Milton Keynes all my life, the past year I’ve really appreciated all the open space to run and walk. I love running and can go for a 10-mile run barely needing to cross any roads! MK has wonderful routes to cover around Willen, Caldecotte and Furzton lakes. You can run along the canal, head into woodlands around Linford and dip into flood plains and rivers down Stony Stratford and Newport Pagnell. What not to love!

I can’t wait for parkrun to start again in Milton Keynes. Willen will be alive each Saturday morning with happy runners!

Gillian Adamson, Receptionist

I’ve lived in Milton Keynes with my family for 43 years (our third daughter was born here 38 years ago). Over the past year I’ve really appreciated the green spaces that MK has to offer, and its exquisite all round beauty when diesel and petrol traffic levels fell and air traffic no longer ripped across the sky. I also appreciated the neighbourliness of my community as we were shielded – shopping was done for us, newspapers and prescriptions collected, and people were kind and thoughtful even though there was one lockdown after another. I am really glad I’ll be able to go to The Stables and the Theatre, to restaurants and pubs, invite friends around again, and traveling to see family and friends in other parts of the UK – it is already a challenge to learn how to chat, gossip and joke again – Zoom is a poor substitute. I am also looking forward to reconnecting with people at work in CMK – we have all be working from home.

I haven’t enjoyed feeling that MK Council has used this time to get on with doing things “under the radar” while we can’t see or hear what they are doing – we do not get the local paper in our village. Examples are huge expansion plans to 2050 and beyond; tower blocks in CMK; repression of the motor car with no public transport alternative; and trials of several rubbish wheelie bins per household when we couldn’t go and see the effect or hear what people in those areas truly felt about it. This is a magic place to live and could continue to be magic, if there wasn’t so much undercover effort to make it like somewhere else (Luton, Croydon, Basingstoke, Manchester… what miserable ordinary and inward looking ambitions!).

David Lock, Strategic Planning Advisor