Our MK News

Find out about all of the things that the Our MK project has been up to




Centre MK Beacon system is funded as seventh Our MK project




We are very excited that the Centre MK Beacon system has become the seventh winner of the Our MK funding competition.

The plan is to explore the potential for using bluetooth beacons, installed across Centre MK, to help people with visual impairments navigate inside buildings within the city centre.

A free to download app provided by the Centre MK Management would hopefully be compatible with all smart phones and could aid navigation via beacons on all retail outlets in the Centre. The beacons on retail outlets would provide some information on the shops one goes past as well as inform the retailer about the footfall in their shops – a useful marketing tool for retailers.

You can visit the project page on Our MK to find out more.



Redway Videos funded as our sixth project



We are delighted to report that a scheme to record videos on the major Redway routes has become the sixth winner of the Our MK funding competition.

People do not use the Redway network as much as they should partly because the current Redway map is out of date, they do not know the conditions of the Redways throughout any proposed route and they do not know what routes are possible.

By filming the major Redway routes, and releasing the videos as open source, the project hopes to both promote cycling on the Redways and stimulate novel applications using the resulting videos.

You can visit the project page on Our MK to find out more.


Free event on renewable energy for MK



Community Action: MK is helping to organise an energy-focused event with Transition MK and Wolverton Community Energy on the 19th April - at Acorn House on Midsummer Boulevard. 

The event will include:

  • Networking opportunities 
  • An update and Q&As with Wolverton Community Energy
  • Short films about existing renewable energy projects in the UK
  • Discussion on 'switching to greener energy suppliers'

Tea, coffee, and cake will be provided!


You can find out more about the event here.



Community Computing Literacy scheme is funded as fifth Our MK project



The Raspberry Pi

We are very excited that the Community Computing Literacy scheme has become the fifth winner of the Our MK funding competition.

Focussing on the Raspberry Pi platform, the scheme is planning on running a series of workshops across Milton Keynes to help teach parents basic computer literacy skills. In doing so, parents will be better prepared to help their children who now have to study computing as part of the national curriculum.

In addition to developing the teaching materials for the workshops, the project also involves surveying local schools about their computing provision and developing two demonstrator systems, highlighting the potential for sustainably-powered computers.

You can visit the project page on Our MK to find out more.



The Breastfeeding Hub App funded as our fourth project


1443782825271.jpegPhoto by archangeldeb

We are delighted to report that the Breastfeeding Hub App has become the fourth winner of the Our MK funding competition.

The project is focussed on creating an app to promote the use of breastfeeding within Milton Keynes. Alongside detailed resources about why you should breastfeed, how to breastfeed, how to express and Frequently Asked Questions, the app will also contain details of who can help in the local area.

The most innovative part of the app will be a map detailing the best locations in Milton Keynes to breastfeed. Alongside expert reviews, we hope the app will contain the ability for users to leave their own comments about the location as a place to breastfeed.

We are very keen to recruit volunteers so if you have any app development skills and want to help out, please do contact us.

You can visit the project page on Our MK to find out more.



84 people attend the latest Our MK Networking Event

1443782825271.jpegAttendees at the Networking Event

On 5th February we hosted a bustling networking event at the Gallery 200 at MK College. With 84 attendees, the event saw people from across MK coming together to understand how to be involved in making Milton Keynes a ‘Smart City’.

In addition to discussing the Our MK scheme, Franzi Florack from MK Food Revolution shared her experiences of running her own project with support from Our MK. MP for Milton Keynes North, Mark Lancaster, also spoke at the event saying that 'what is fantastic about Milton Keynes is that underpinning all of [our] shiny, modern image are these key local passionate projects which are the drivers and the foundations as to how we are going to move forward'.

The event also announced the winners of the MK:Smart Photography Competition, where photographs entered represented the brief ‘What is your ‘Smart City’?’. The Judge’s Winner was Simon Beckett with his image named 'The Future is Solar!' and the Online winner, judged by more than 1,300 votes was Paul Bond with his photo called 'Take action, think smart, one future, our future....' that received 532 votes. And finally the event winner was James Rayner with the Photo 'Cedar Barn Passivhaus'.

You can see all the photos on display at the Gallery 200, MK College until 12th Feb, at UCMK between 15th-26th Feb and at Acorn House between 1st-11th March.

If you want to view any of the videos from the event, visit our YouTube channel.

1443782825271.jpegJudge’s Winner: Simon Beckett - “The Future is Solar!”

1443782825271.jpegOnline Winner: Paul Bond - “Take action, think smart, one future, our future....”

1443782825271.jpeg    Event Winner: James Rayner - “Cedar Barn Passivhaus”



Recycled furniture pop-up shop becomes our third funded project

1443782825271.jpegPhoto by AST

We are very excited to report that All Small Things have just been announced as the third winner of the Our MK funding competition.

The project is focussed on around promoting the sale and use of recycled and upcycled furniture. Reusing old furniture brings many sustainability benefits, particularly with regards of consuming raw materials. Using an electric van, a pop-up shop will be visiting a variety of locations within Milton Keynes to promote the sale of recycled furniture.

The pop-up shop will also be gathering data from the people that visit the shop, giving us unique social insights into communities within the city.

You can visit the pop-up shop page on Our MK or to find out more.



MK:Smart Citizens Photo Competition Vote

1443782825271.jpegPhoto by MK:Smart

We are delighted to invite all citizens in the city to vote for which photo you think best illustrates Milton Keynes as a ‘smart city’.

Winners of the online vote will be announced at our exhibition and networking event at Gallery 200 at MK College.

You can visit the competition website to vote and register to attend the networking event.

All of the competition entries can be seen here.



Food Passport Project invites you to the MK Feast


Join us for MK FEAST, MK's first and most exciting celebration of local food, artisan products and community groups!

Based at the wonderful Bradwell Abbey, the MK FEAST will bring together your favourite food vendors, market stalls and entertainment. Bring your passport to collect stamp rewards and connect with other foodies. Support MK's local makers and creators!

More plans will be revealed over the next weeks here. For now, save the date for the 20th February 2016 and look forward to a wonderful range of local deliciousness!




MK:Smart Citizens Photo Competition Launched

1443782825271.jpegPhoto by MK:Smart

We are delighted to invite all citizens in the city to enter this competition, which is all about portraying a photographer’s take on Milton Keynes as a ‘smart city’.

Whether you are an aspiring photographer, or simply enjoy taking pictures, or just have a camera lying around, this competition is for you!

You can visit the competition website to find our more about how to apply and what prizes are available.



MK Food Revolution becomes our second funded project

1443782825271.jpegPhoto by Sally Robinson

We are very excited to report that MK Food Revolution has just been announced as the second winner of the first round of Our MK funding competition.

The project is focussed on the ‘Milton Keynes Indie Food Passport’, a brochure type passport, which includes descriptions and addresses of local food outlets (including directions and opening times) as well as general information on the Milton Keynes independent food scene. The passport will have a space where local food outlets could ‘stamp’ their own logo when a customer visits their stall/shop. The passport could also act as a ‘discount booklet’, offering holders 10% off (or similar).

You can visit the Food Passport page on Our MK or visit the MK Food Revolution site to find out more.



Official Launch of the Our MK Citizens Idea Competition 



On the 23rd September we ran a launch event at the Transport Systems Catapult to inform members of the public about the Our MK scheme, what funding we have available and how they can get involved. 

The event featured presentations from the key people behind the MK:Smart project, including members of the Citizens Engagement team at Community Action: MK and The Open University, who explained the concept of and the core objectives behind the smart cities initiative. The real highlight of the presentation was a talk from Michael Sheppard – MK citizen, teacher and a keen activist involved in a number of local initiatives, including Transition MK and the MK’s Green Party.

We were delighted to see over 50 MK citizens and representatives of local organisations, groups and businesses, keen to find out more about this local initiative. Many of them shared their ideas with us at the event – by leaving comments at our ‘inspiration station’ and expressed their eagerness to be part in running or helping to run local projects. We were particularly pleased that members of the local press including One MK and Business MK attended the event and have helped us spread the word. 




Our MK funds first project


We are very excited to report that Michael Sheppard has just been announced as the first winner of the first round of Our MK funding competition.

Michael's idea is about promoting an extremely low-cost system for off-grid solar lighting. Such a system is about promoting and fostering a sense of independence and resilience and at the same time hopefully encouraging a more judicious and respectful attitude to domestic electricity consumption.

You can visit Michael’s page on Our MK to find out more about his project and you can also sign-up to our monthly newsletter to receive updates on how Michael’s progressing in the coming months.


You can hear Michael talk about his project and experience with Our MK in the video below, recorded at the official launch of the Our MK initiative.




Promoting Our MK in the local community


The Our MK team took the newly launched website to various events and activities taking place last week.

On Monday 22nd of June we showcased the project and the platform at the Engage MK networking event at Bradwell Abbey, which focused on the effective use of social media to drive community-based groups and projects.

On Friday 26th of June we visited the weekly coffee morning at Moorlands Centre in Benhill, a hugely popular local community activity. We talked to residents there about the new website and updated them on the progress of the MK Smart project, following our visit earlier this year. As always in Beanhill, we received lots of useful feedback and suggestions, and two local residents have successfully created their profiles on OurMK, and uploaded their own ideas on the site – one of them on how to improve the water distribution in the city.

We look forward to seeing your great ideas, which will help to shift people’s approach to the local environment and, ultimately, turn Milton Keynes into a truly sustainable smart city.