Milton Keynes is forecast to see 9.9% annual GVA growth between Q4 2020 and Q4 2021, following an expected 10.7% contraction in the year to Q4 2020. It’s seeing one of the toughest downturns out of the UK Powerhouse cities in 2020, but is expected to recover quickly once the worst of the impacts of the coronavirus crisis are over. Similarly, in the last recession, Milton Keynes saw a sharp contraction in GVA in 2009 before a rapid return to growth in 2010, highlighting the city’s ability to quickly regain output after times of economic challenges.
The economic make-up of Milton Keynes is heavily skewed towards services, especially highly skilled service sectors, such as IT and business services, as well as distribution and storage. Many businesses in these sectors have struggled amid the pandemic.
The June closure of Adelie Foods, one of the UK’s largest sandwich makers, highlighted the challenges businesses have faced. It cost more than 2,000 jobs in the Milton Keynes area.
Yet a key sector of growth as the UK emerges from the pandemic will be in logistics and online retail, reflecting the change in consumer shopping patterns. Milton Keynes is home to Magna Park, which houses vast logistics sheds for Marks & Spencer, Amazon, John Lewis and Adidas.