Milton Park – Connecting people, places and innovation
Published on 13 April 2022
We’re all about connectivity at Milton Park, bringing people together as part of our community. This theme provided the inspiration for our latest billboard – ‘Connecting people, places and innovation’ – which can be found by the entrance to the Park off the Milton interchange.
Let’s take a deep dive into the theme of connectivity and what it means here at Milton Park.
We strive to make sure that Milton Park is a place that fosters conversation and collaboration, where people can share ideas and build connections. It’s a vibrant community comprising a host of innovative companies undertaking some of the most cutting-edge research and development in life sciences, energy and technology. However, Milton Park wouldn’t be what it is today without those who work here – we often say that ‘it’s the people who make the Park’.
Many companies and organisations based at the Park connect with each other on a regular basis, through knowledge exchange, the supply chain or events hosted at the Park throughout the year.
The Milton Park Running Club, our free Bootcamp and Pilates sessions and numerous seasonal events (such as the Easter Bunny Run) are just a few examples of how people across the Park can step away from the desk, connect with each other and stay active.
Bringing people together from different backgrounds provides the chance to better understand different points of view, share best practice and ultimately allows us to create a more inclusive community for those who interact with the Park.
People working at the Park have the opportunity to connect via the Greener Workplace Forum, an independent group which aims to raise awareness of existing green initiatives around energy use, recycling and transport. The forum is also used as a collective voice when lobbying for infrastructure improvements and investments which will help to reduce emissions.
Connecting businesses with the wider community is key to ensuring that the local area is able to fulfil its potential as a sustainable and inclusive community. The Didcot Powerhouse Fund is a Donor Advised Fund which aims to tackle inequality and deprivation within the Didcot Garden Town Area of Influence – encompassing the town of Didcot, as well as the 18 surrounding Parish and Town Council areas.
The Fund, administered by Oxfordshire Community Foundation (a registered charity), hopes to connect businesses with the surrounding community, bringing together key organisations in the area to raise awareness – and crucially, funds – to address inequality.
In November, our Innovation Centre became the base for the Powerhouse Fund’s launch event. The event gave key figures in the area the opportunity to connect with each other, learn more about the Fund’s goals, benefits to the community and information for donors on why their involvement was important for its future success in helping to reduce local inequalities.
In addition to being a major donor to the Powerhouse Fund, Milton Park is a founding member and part of its Advisory Group. We also helped to raise nearly £500 as part of a collection at our wreath-making workshop held before Christmas, attended by members of the Milton Park community.
We know from the pandemic that changes in how people are working have accelerated since the pandemic. The Bee House, our new flexible office and co-working space due to open this May, is designed to encourage cross-pollination between companies and individuals. People working across Milton Park can meet with colleagues when visiting the Hive café, which will serve hot drinks and food, cakes and snacks throughout the day.
The Park’s other amenities also provide plentiful opportunities for people to connect with each other. The Park Club gym, Pierrepont’s Café and Café Metro provide the ideal locations to catch-up with colleagues. Meanwhile, our green spaces and outdoor seating areas allow people at the Park to connect with the surrounding natural environment.
Milton Park is a place ‘where work and life connect’. Placemaking is an essential ingredient in realising this ambition so that Milton Park is not just somewhere for people to come and work, but that it’s a happy, thriving community where organisations and individuals can flourish.
Thinking about how people can connect between places is important. Whether your journey is nearby or further afield, people visiting Milton Park have a number of options to travel sustainably to and from the Park.
The Park benefits from excellent transport connections with direct buses from other Oxfordshire towns and direct trains from London, Swindon and Reading to Didcot Parkway. For only £20 per year, those working at the Park can take advantage of the regular shuttle bus service to travel anywhere within Didcot Zone 1.
We’re delighted to have a very active cycling community, who regularly use the good cycle connections to and from the Park. Our bike and e-bike hire scheme is free for people working here and are housed in bike shelter ‘hubs’ across Milton Park and at Didcot Parkway railway station.
The Park’s 2040 Vision represents the next chapter of our journey towards becoming an innovation district. Improvements in connectivity will mean that the Park will not only have good links for people travelling from Didcot and Oxford, but also further afield including London, Reading and Birmingham.
From start-ups to large corporates, Milton Park is a hub of innovation, a friendly community that supports collaboration and conversations which can lead to business connections and life-changing discoveries.
Working together to share knowledge and data can help life sciences companies to uncover new treatments and technological advancements. The Park is home to some of the most innovative research from across the globe including fusion energy, sustainable batteries, vaccine technology, artificial intelligence and augmented reality.
The inspirational companies at Milton Park play a significant part in contributing towards the wider Oxfordshire life sciences and innovation cluster. Connectivity and collaboration with other science and technology parks, in addition to the Oxford universities, provide the foundations to make sure globally-important discoveries and advancements are continued to be made in the UK.