Last month, L&Q announced plans to expand into Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire, building quality affordable homes whilst investing in local initiatives and the economy.

On 23 May, we convened a roundtable of local councillors and groups from across Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire to discuss our future community investment priorities for the region. Our investment package will support projects and community activities through our £250 million charitable Foundation – set up in 2011 to bring together our social and economic programmes.

The roundtable was attended by a broad range of local organisations including Milton Keynes Council, Woughton Community Council, Milton Keynes YMCA, Milton Keynes College, Green Business Network, Groundwork and Destination MK. The discussion focused on three key topics: young people, workforce and growth.

The input from these discussions will be used by the L&Q Foundation to help inform its bespoke regional investment and partnership package for the region, which will be announced later this year.

Fiona Fletcher Smith, Group Director of Development and Sales at L&Q said: “It’s great for L&Q to meet with local representatives and understand how we can contribute to the fantastic community in Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire.

“L&Q is about more than bricks and mortar. We want to work closely with local partners to create a lasting impact in the areas we work. The conclusions from this roundtable, building on the knowledge and experience of our fantastic attendees, will be pivotal to guiding our strategic decision making over the coming years.”

Councillor Moriah Priestley, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Community Partnerships, Milton Keynes Council, said: “Milton Keynes is a vibrant and aspirational place with many of our residents looking to establish their own businesses and last year alone, we had over 14,000 new business registrations in the borough. However, to ensure we have a skilled workforce for the long-term contributing to economic growth, we need to do more to help new businesses get off the ground and assist young people to realise their full potential here.”

Joanne Goodall, Development and Fundraising Manager, Groundwork East, said: “Mental health is a critical issue that we see in many areas and across age groups. To make a truly positive impact, organisations need to prioritise longevity and focus on providing a sustained period of community investment in order to start encouraging greater aspirations from an earlier age.”

Danny Conway, Chair of Community Action: MK, said: “We need a space where the community can come together, share ideas and be inspired. Fundamentally people need people. It’s a simple concept and it is where I believe L&Q can make a real positive impact.”

Matthew Corbett, Director of the L&Q Foundation, who co-chaired the event, added: “Our ethos is to take a proactive approach to understanding the specific investment needs and opportunities for each area we operate in to be able to deliver a positive impact for the communities we serve.”

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