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Central Milton Keynes, as seen from Great Holm, approximately one mile to the west.

Central Milton Keynes is the central business district of Milton Keynesmarker, Buckinghamshire, Englandmarker and a civil parish in its own right.

The district is approximately 2.5 km long by 1 km wide and occupies some of the highest land in Milton Keynes. It contains (behind the Central Library) the site of Secklow Hundred moot hill, the meeting site of the Anglo-Saxon settlers in the area. It contains the central retail, business, law enforcement and governmental districts and Milton Keynes Centralmarker railway station.

(Campbell Parkmarker, stretching from Marlborough Street down to the Grand Union Canalmarker, is sometimes included in mental maps of the centre, though in fact it is part of a separate civil parishmarker).


Occuppying , the area lies between Portway (H5, A509) to the north, the West Coast Main Linemarker and A5 to the west, Childs Way (H6) to the south and Marlborough Street to the east. It is crossed from north to south by (in west to east order, major roads only) Grafton Gate , Witan Gate, Saxon Gate (V7) and Secklow Gate. It is crossed from west to east (in north to south order, major roads only) by Silbury Boulevard, Avebury Boulevard and Midsummer Boulevard. Avebury is the primary spine.

East of Saxon Gate: the main retail/service/entertainment district

This area is almost the highest point of Milton Keynes and has the site of the Anglo-Saxon Secklow Hundred[203312] moot mound (meeting place) just behind the library.

The area is defined by Marlborough Street to the north-east, the Saxon Gate (Saxon Street, V7) to the south-west, Portway (H5, A509) to the north-west and Childs Way (H6) to the south-east. The core retail district is further delimited by Silbury and Avebury Boulevards, with civic and office developments outside the Boulevards.

Queens Court in the centre:MK
The retail district includes thecentre:mk and Midsummer Place (the covered high streets that are the Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centremarker). The Library, Milton Keynes Borough Councilmarker offices and commercial offices are on the north side of the shops; the theatre, art gallery, cinemas, Xscape snowdome, pubs, sports shops and other leisure facilities are on the south side.


Xscape is the main leisure complex in Central Milton Keynes, consisting of a real snow indoor ski slope, climbing wall and a multiscreen cinema, and a number of shops and restaurants.

Milton Keynes Theatre and Gallery

The 1,400 seat Milton Keynes theatre/concert hallmarker has an unusual feature: the ceiling can be lowered closing off the third tier (gallery) to create a more intimate space for smaller scale productions.

Milton Keynes Gallery (the municipal art gallery, beside the main theatre) does not have a permanent collection. This allows it to host edgy shows to critical acclaim.

West of Saxon Gate, east of Grafton Gate: the main business district

This area is also delimited by Portway and Childs Way. Saxon Gate separates it from the north-east area and Grafton Gate (Grafton Street, V7) marks its south-western edge. The domed Church of Christ the Cornerstone, law courts and police station are in the business district, which has a number of notable buildings including CBX, The Hub:MK and the remarkable purpose-built Indian restaurant beside the small linear park that provides its core. The restaurant claims to be the largest purpose-built Indian restaurant in Europe.

Ecumenical Church of Christ the Cornerstone

Ecumenical Church of Christ the Cornerstone
This ecumenical church, the first such in the United Kingdom, is shared by the major Christian denominations to serve the office workers and the small resident population. (There are many denominational places of worship throughout the town at large).

The Hub:MK

The Hub:MK is a 13 storey development between the station and the church. The complex includes two high-rise hotels and a number of residential and office towers. The site controversially involves the closure of one of the original pedestrian underpasses and is built right up to the edge of the adjacent boulevard, the first of several proposals that will change the unique character of Milton Keynes Development Corporation's original design for Central Milton Keynes. The work is part of the 'densification' plan that central government, through its agency English Partnerships, has ordained for Milton Keynes. Its height, also a major departure from the original low-rise design, makes it the third tallest building in Milton Keynes, beaten only by the 14 storey Xscape and the 17 storey Mellish Court in Bletchleymarker.

West of Grafton Gate: the station district

This district is defined by Saxon Gate (Saxon Street, V7) to the north-east, the West Coast Main Linemarker (and the adjacent A5) to the south-west, Portway (H5, A509) to the north-west and Childs Way (H6) to the south-east. The core retail district is further delimited by Silbury and Avebury Boulevards, with civic and office developments outside the Boulevards.

The main feature of the district is the Milton Keynes Central railway stationmarker (an inter-city stop on the West Coast Main Linemarker), one of the five stations serving Milton Keynes. Coach services also operate from here, including the Stagecoach X5 service that replaces the Varsity Linemarker, which links Milton Keynes with Oxfordmarker in the west (for connections to the west and Walesmarker) and Cambridgemarker in the east. The station building houses commercial office lets and the Station Square development includes further office lets and retail outlets.

The central bus station is located opposite the station. This is used primarily by local services run by Arriva as MK Metro, although most services additionally call at the railway station. The upstairs level of the bus station accommodates a nightclub. There is a covered "urban" skate-boarding space, SK8MK, beside the bus station.

The (former) National Hockey Stadiummarker is to the north of the station, surrounded by a number of important retail units. To its south there is another leisure and retail area, notably the Planet Ice Arenamarker (home of Milton Keynes Lightning) and another ten-pin bowling alley.

Civil parish

Central Milton Keynes is a civil parish, bordering (clockwise from north) Great Linfordmarker, Campbell Parkmarker, Loughtonmarker, and Bradwellmarker. The parish was created in 2001, and had a population of 1,272 according to the 2001 census.

ONS Urban sub-area

The Office of National Statistics designated urban sub-area ( map) called "Central Milton Keynes" is far bigger that either the district or the parish. It consists of that part of Milton Keynes that is west of the River Ouzelmarker, but north of the Bletchley urban sub-area (which approximates to the former Bletchley Urban District), south-east of the Wolverton/Stony Stratford urban sub-area (which approximates to the former Wolverton Urban District) and south of the North Milton Keynesmarker urban sub-area. (The provenance of "North Milton Keynes", and of its boundary with the Central Milton Keynes urban sub-area, are unclear. The Central Milton Keynes and North Milton Keynes urban sub-areas together approximate to that part of the former Newport Pagnell Rural Districtmarker that is west of the River Ouzel).


Locations around Central Milton Keynes were used for the movie Superman IV, where it played the part of the United Nations building. Recognisable locations include Milton Keynes Central, CBX and the Argos building.

See also


  1. Borough of Milton Keynes: parish profiles
  2. Oakhill, at the western border with Aylesbury Vale, is slightly higher.
  3. Guardian Unlimited | Search |"Milton keynes gallery"
  4. Bletchley, Bow Brickhill, Fenny Stratford, Milton Keynes Central, and Wolverton
  5. 1.6MB PDF Parishes A-L
  6. Filming Locations for Superman IV

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