City Council’s economic recovery plan empowers local businesses

Milton Keynes City Ariel View

Milton Keynes City Council’s four-year £3.6m Economic Recovery Plan is ending on schedule having supported over 1,700 local businesses and more than 8,000 individuals.

The award-winning Economic Recovery Plan was set up in 2020 to revitalise businesses in the city and provide job opportunities for local people in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Young people and women have been the focus of the programme, having been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

The Economic Recovery Plan has helped businesses in a range of sectors from tech to creative arts, and from sole traders to large companies seeking to innovate. The city council unlocked projects with training and skills providers so local people could access support. Many projects have helped individuals returning to work and young people seeking employment.

Some of the key projects include:

  • Women into Work – the city council invested in a range of training and skills programmes specifically aimed at helping women return to work. More than 500 women have been supported into work or training thanks to the programme. The plan has received industry-wide recognition, with the Local Government Association highlighting the positive impact the programme has made for women
  • Green Recovery – through its Net Zero project, the city council has helped over 800 businesses to take steps towards reducing their carbon footprint. Businesses have had access to grant funding and workshops to help tackle the climate emergency
  • Tech and AI – the Economic Recovery Plan supported a number of AI initiatives, including growing an AI Development Programme, and connecting leaders and academics to develop and strengthen AI skills in the city. Most recently, the city council launched the MK Tech Fund for start-ups to help tech talent stay within the city, creating new jobs and opportunities
    • Young people – working with MK College, Future Wolverton and MK Melting Pot, the city council has supported hundreds of young people into work and training. Young people have used these opportunities to gain qualifications and start careers in hospitality, social care and in culture and tourism.
“Milton Keynes is fortunate to have so many talented entrepreneurs running small businesses that keep our economy ticking, and we’re proud to have helped so many firms get back onto their feet after such a disruptive period. Our award-winning Economic Recovery Plan has empowered local people and businesses, giving them a helping hand when they needed it most.

It’s no surprise that MK is considered the best place to set up a business – it’s because we have a resilient business community with unwavering commitment to the city. We’re delighted that we’ve been able to help them on this journey and we’ll continue to support our businesses to flourish.”
- Deputy Leader of MK City Council, Cllr Robin Bradburn