3 June 2022

Find your next retail property to rent in Milton Keynes

Discover your next retail property to rent in Milton Keynes.

Built with modern life in mind, combining green space and ground-breaking urban planning in an unrivaled location, Milton Keynes is a fast-growing Buckinghamshire metropolis. Originally developed in the 1960s to ease London’s housing congestion, today’s Milton Keynes is celebrating its newly awarded city status, granted to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. 

With a thriving centre and fantastic links – it’s just 30 minutes by train to London and the M1 motorway bisects the city – it’s no surprise that many big-name firms have established bases in the area, including the Formula One Red Bull Racing team. Milton Keynes is also the home of the Open University, the world’s first degree-awarding distance learning institution, and historic Bletchley Park, the site of secret British code-breaking activities during World War II. 

It's never far from nature with 180 miles of bridleways, footpaths, and cycle tracks. As a Go Ultra Low city, there’s a range of low carbon initiatives in place, including a network of electric car charge points, and electric bus fleets.  

What’s more, Milton Keynes has one of the strongest economies in the UK, with the fifth-highest number of business start-ups per capita in the country. The 2020 Centre for Cities report even voted Milton Keynes as the best place for business outside of London.

Explore where retail properties in Milton Keynes could take your business

Retail opportunities in and around Milton Keynes

From bright, modern shopping malls to independent boutiques, there’s plenty to tempt anyone in need of some retail therapy.  

The centre:mk is Milton Keynes’ flagship shopping mall, with more than 190 stores, cafes, and restaurants all under one roof, anchored by John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Next. Open market:CMK, located in the middle of the mall, has a vibrant array of stalls selling Indian, Chinese, Turkish and Lebanese groceries, along with enticing snacks and spices from all over the world. 

Midsummer Place – also known as the Fashion Quarter – offers the very best in designer fashions, with more than 50 stores situated along its glitzy malls. Outlets include Next Beauty & Home and fashion-forward brands such as Hollister, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, Superdry and Zara.

intu Milton Keynes, just a 15-minute walk from Milton Keynes Central train station, is another bustling shopping area, featuring a mix of high-end fashion, lifestyle boutiques and high-street shops. This modern indoor and outdoor shopping centre also hosts popular events such as the Etsy and Artisan Market.

MK1 Shopping & Leisure Park houses well-known fashion and sportswear retailers including H&M, New Look, Primark, River Island and JD Sports. Xscape Milton Keynes is an activity and entertainment-oriented shopping centre – there’s indoor skydiving, skiing and trampolining – along with some major names in activewear including DC Shoes for skateboarding gear, Ellis Brigham for all things ski and snowboard related, and Evans Cycles. Winterhill Retail Park offers a full out-of-town shopping experience with the likes of ScS, Carpetright, The Range and Dunelm Mill.  

There are plenty of things to do to enjoy your time in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes is known for its widely accessible public art, displayed throughout the city, and for its emerging International Festival. It also has a number of theatres and music venues, including Milton Keynes Theatre, which presents the top West End and touring productions. Stadium MK – home to the MK Dons Football Club (formerly known as Wimbledon FC) – plays host to all manner of sporting and music events. 

For an exciting day out, visit Snowzone, Europe’s largest indoor real snow resort, Formula Fast Indoor Carting, Big Rock indoor climbing centre or the iFly Indoor Skydiving tunnel. Or how about a trip to the National Film and Sci-fi Museum? Here you’ll find an extensive collection of artifacts from the film sets of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, James Bond, Ghostbusters and Harry Potter. 

With more than 350 restaurants, Milton Keynes is a great location for foodies. From high-end dining to cosy pub grub, and flavoursome feasts from across the world, there’s plenty to tempt all palates.  

If you like to stay in shape, you’ll have lots of choice in Milton Keynes. Along with familiar gyms such as Anytime Fitness, PureGym and The Gym, there are plenty of local facilities.  

Excellent transport links make Milton Keynes a fantastic retail location

Milton Keynes has great road links

Milton Keynes has a grid road structure – all main roads are designated H or V depending on whether they run horizontally or vertically. The main motorway is the busy M1, taking you south to London or north to Leeds, via Northampton, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield. On the other side of the town is the A5, which runs south to Dunstable or north to the suburbs of Birmingham. 

Milton Keynes is well connected by train

The main train station is Milton Keynes Central, located in the heart of the town. Services operated by Avanti West Coast, Southern and West Midlands Trains stop here, so it’s easy to travel to nearby towns and cities – you can get to Birmingham in around 50 minutes and London Euston in just half an hour.  

Regular buses run all over Milton Keynes

Most of the surrounding areas are serviced by bus links to the centre of town, with bus stops located at key destinations including train stations, shopping centres and business parks. Coach services to many cities, including Oxford and Cambridge, can be taken from the Coachway, located near junction 14 of the M1. 

Milton Keynes is bike-friendly

Hiring schemes are managed by Santander Cycles, which provides 500 bikes across 50 locations for visitors and residents. Milton Keynes is served by routes 6 and 51 of the National Cycle Network and has over 200 miles of shared-use paths, known as Redways, for cycling and walking. 

The closest airport to Milton Keynes is Luton Airport

A 40-minute drive from the centre of town, Luton Airport has flights to a number of destinations across the UK and Europe. If you’re heading further afield, Heathrow Airport is just over an hour’s drive away.  

Business amenities and hotels in Milton Keynes

There are a number of venues across the town that can cater for large events – Stadium MK accommodates up to 5,000 attendees, while &Meetings Milton Keynes offers flexible room and space hire. Smaller spaces are available too, such as Landmark Milton Keynes and Centrecom.  

Milton Keynes provides lots of hotel options, from boutique stopovers and quaint B&Bs to international chains, such as Holiday Inn and Travelodge, offering overnight fuss-free deals. The Novotel, a three-minute drive from the centre of Milton Keynes, provides large bedrooms, free parking and a heated indoor pool, gym and sauna. For somewhere swish and stylish, a room at the contemporary Doubletree by Hilton will fit the bill, featuring modern, chic suites as well as well-equipped meeting rooms.  

Notable retail tenants in Milton Keynes

  • John Lewis 
  • Marks & Spencer 
  • Next 
  • Waterstones 
  • Apple 

The future of retail space in Milton Keynes

Staying relevant to shoppers has been the key to Milton Keynes’ success over the past four decades, ever since its first shopping centre was opened in September 1979. From those early days, Milton Keynes has become a regionally dominant top 10 shopping destination with growing footfall, serving a catchment of approximately 1.4 million people within a 45-minute drive time. It’s also part of the Fast Growth Cities group, which comprises of a cluster of cities identified as performing strongly on a range of economic indicators, putting them in a strong position for future growth.  

Retail research has identified that consumers have an increasingly civic-based outlook, with a general appetite to increase time spent locally and socially, requiring not just places to shop, but destinations that provide a social role. 

Today’s city marketers have picked up on this trend and are focusing on creating memorable experiences to make every shopping trip exciting and fun. There are plans to expand and bring even more to the centre, making it an even more vibrant destination for the growing population - which has increased by an incredible 79% since 2002. Milton Keynes was created as a visionary new town, specifically designed for business growth, making it one of the UK’s most desirable locations for retail opportunities. 

Find your next retail property to rent in Milton Keynes

Key retail property agents in Milton Keynes 

  • Bidwells 
  • Clock Property 
  • Kirkby Diamond 
  • Commercial Lynx 

Where to learn more

We have many articles and guides on the retail industry, covering everything from trends and useful information, such as retail units and your brand – from pop-ups to brand stores and 4 things to consider when searching for a retail unit to sought-after locations. We recommend reading about emerging ESG trends in retail and key industry trends for 2022 to stay at the forefront of retail.