Milton Keynes strives to 'challenge perceptions'

The much-maligned town of Milton Keynes is to get an image makeover with a three-year campaign to attract businesses and create around 12,000 jobs.

The area's investment body, Invest Milton Keynes, wants to counter negative perceptions and is working with local agency Emberton Dale on the PR drive.

‘This campaign is about challenging preconceptions of Milton Keynes,' said Debbie Lamb, PR director at the agency. ‘Yes, we've got lots of roundabouts and a grid road system, but that means there's virtually no congestion and you never get lost.'

Emberton Dale won a three-year contract in March as the lead agency for Invest Milton Keynes.

The account carries a budget of £1.6m per annum.

The PR campaign has now been confirmed and will involve inviting business and arts journalists to visit local attractions.

A major PR stunt in central London is also planned in the coming weeks, Lamb told PRWeek.

The agency is also working closely with Destination Milton Keynes and the local council's cultural strategy team specifically to promote the area's lifestyle benefits.

The town is at the centre of the Government's controversial Sustainable Communities Plan in the South.

Established in the 1960s, Milton Keynes now has a population of 184,000. Invest Milton Keynes reports that 82 per cent of the area's workforce are ‘very happy'. The town recently became home to the only branch outside London of millionaires' bank Coutts.

The bank recently estimated that about 13,000 people living in Milton Keynes or in its environs are ‘on the verge of becoming millionaires'.

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