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Intu Milton Keynes set to get a new makeover by new owners

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Intu Milton Keynes set to get a new makeover by new owners

Milton Keynes is set to see more changes to its shopping district as intu Milton Keynes is set to get a full makeover. Following on from going into administration earlier in the year, parts of intu business are being taken over by a management firm called Ellandi.

Earlier in June, Intu Properties warned that their shopping malls across the UK may have to close their doors for a period. Intu Properties who were £4.5 billion in debt had been in talks with their creditors to obtain standstill agreements. This would have meant Intu would not have to pay back what it has borrowed until the end of 2021. These talks failed and Intu entered administration.

Where did it go wrong for intu Milton Keynes?

There is no definitive answer. It is a case of the perfect storm. Intu Properties had been struggling as a business due to changes in consumer spending habits and competition from the internet. Many ideas and good campaigns were rolled out over the years but the recent lockdown and shop restrictions due to coronavirus have all but finished the once-popular shopping destination.

Intu Milton Keynes

intu Student Night in Milton Keynes.

Over the years, the management team had put on a number of events from intu Student Night with DJ’s and a full club setup to getting a mayor to play a few games of ping pong.

The other issue is that it was too close to Centre:MK, the ‘favourite’ Milton Keynes shopping destination. The rebrand from Midsummer Place to Intu MK was not really successful. With Centre:MK as the main shopping destination in Milton Keynes for so long, intu MK was seen by locals as ‘somewhere else to look at’.

What happens next to intu Milton Keynes?

One thing is for sure is that it will not be rebranded Ellandi Milton Keynes. New owners Ellandi have announced that it will keep its name in the short term. Officially, Ellandi, the privately-owned operator of many UK shopping centres, has been appointed as asset manager for intu Milton Keynes.

Ellandi believes thriving town centres are community hubs and 90% of Ellandi projects house crucial local amenities such as council offices, health services, banks, and post offices as well as libraries and sports facilities. What does this mean for the shopping centre formerly known as Intu Milton Keynes? At this stage, nobody knows. At some point, it will be rebranded and more profitable retailers/tenants will move in.

Earlier this year, fashion retailer Next announced they will be opening a new beauty store in the former Debenhams units. Called ‘The Beauty Hall from Next’, the new concept store will open in units formerly occupied by Debenhams in both intu sites in Watford and Milton Keynes.

Lover of all things FAST. If I am not in the office, you can find me near a track or under a car. I also work with great people in TrendLife's Editorial team.

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Horwood House Unveils New Manor Suites In Grade-II Manor House

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Horwood House Unveils New Manor Suites In Grade-II Listed Manor House

Once the birthplace of renowned TV gardener Percy Thrower, the historic Grade-II listed Manor House at idyllic countryside hotel Horwood House has unveiled three fully refurbished Manor Suites. The latest milestone in an extensive £6 million, 18-month redevelopment programme, the new look suites draw on the rich horticultural heritage of the 110-year-old property, which is set within 38 acres of stunning gardens and grounds.

Horwood House History

Horwood House Histrory

Originally a farmhouse (some 300 years ago), the Manor House was upgraded in the early 1900s by Frederick Denny, and his original commission design played an integral part in the refurbishment. Lovingly restored to showcase and celebrate the building’s original features, the three master suites are all located on the Manor’s top floor. After ascending the original and fully restored feature staircase – complete with a showstopping three-tier custom made chandelier, inspired by the traditional 19th century heritage lighting found in many stately homes.

Guests will be greeted by features from the original Manor House such as reconditioned vaulted ceilings, original stonework and grand bay windows synonymous with the Jacobethan era, which were originally designed by well-known architect Detmar Blow over 100 years ago!

Changes at Horwood House

The Denny family alongside their Head Gardener, (Percy Thrower’s father) took immense pride in rebuilding the gardens to the glorious scenes present today. When designing the rooms, it was of utmost importance that the breath-taking grounds took centre stage, with views of the glorious tree-lined drive and the picturesque lily pond, (created by Percy Thrower himself) forming integral parts of each scheme. Both vistas are lit up at night to ensure views at every time of day.

Carefully decorated to ensure guests enjoy a luxurious yet comfortable stay, the suites have each been individually designed but all feature a lounge, a bathroom and a spacious bedroom with luxury king-size beds complete with Art Deco inspired headboards. Plush bay window seating – a perfect spot to enjoy an hour or two of reading – and richly textured soft furnishings are in a colour-scheme selected to complement the hotel’s horticultural setting and offer serenity to those staying – expect light greys, deep greens, subtle teals and warm terracotta hues.

The bathrooms feature eye-catching grey scallop tiles and either a walk-in rainfall shower or bath with gold accents.No amenity or detail has been overlooked, with each suite also featuring a dining table, mini fridge, air-conditioning throughout, complimentary Wi-Fi and a Nespresso coffee machine.

Throughout the suites and into the ground floor of the Manor House, guests will see artwork that explores 1911, the year in which the Manor House was built and the landmark events that mark the period, such as the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, along with the publication of “The Secret Garden” and works by the celebrated poet, D.H. Lawrence.

Horwood House Unveils New Manor Suites In Grade-II Listed Manor House

And that’s not all – the ground floor bar, lounge and ceremony spaces have also been refurbished and offer the perfect backdrop for an early evening drink, afternoon tea with friends or a lavish dinner party in the private Manor library room with carefully curated menus, full of the finest seasonal ingredients, from the hotel’s Executive Chef Will Dimartino.

Booking Horwood House

Looking for a historic, horticultural stay full of rural opulence? The Manor Suites are available to book now, with room rates starting from £249.50 per person (£499 per room) with breakfast included. To book, visit: https://reservations.horwoodhouse.co.uk.

Directions to Horwood House Hotel

Horwood House
Mursley Rd
Little Horwood
Milton Keynes
MK17 0PH

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St Albans Comedy Extravaganza returns to Verulamium Park in July

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St Albans Comedy Garden presented by heycar is set to light up Verulamium Park this summer with a magnificent series of open-air shows from 27-31st July!

St Albans Comedy Garden presented by heycar is set to light up Verulamium Park this summer with a magnificent series of open-air shows from 27-31st July!

Starring legendary BAFTA and Perrier Award winner DYLAN MORAN, the guv’nor himself AL MURRAY, multi-award winning SARA PASCOE, the Last Leg’s ROSIE JONES, Father Ted star ARDAL O’HANLON, lo-fi hero DAVID O’DOHERTY and many more huge names performing at this year’s astounding set of open-air shows.

St Albans Comedy Garden line-up

Stand-up favourites are out in force too with cult poet / comic TIM KEY, German Comedy Ambassador HENNING WEHN, observational master ED BYRNE, Afterlife star KERRY GODLIMAN, Taskmaster champ LOU SANDERS, Edinburgh Comedy Award winner JOHN ROBINS, Netflix star JOEL DOMMETT, the inimitable REGINALD D HUNTER to name a few.

Alongside established names sit some of the brightest breakthrough talent such as the acclaimed CELYA AB, stand-up phenomenon FATIHA EL-GHORRI and the award-winning ESTHER MANITO, fast rising TADIWA MAHLUNGE all making their St Albans debut.

What to expect at St Albans Comedy Garden

Following last summer’s huge sell-out first edition St Albans Comedy Garden returns with another astounding programme of stand-up comedy presented in a fully-seated open-air theatre in the Park’s beautiful Water Meadow.

St Albans Comedy Garden presented by heycar is set to light up Verulamium Park this summer with a magnificent series of open-air shows from 27-31st July!

This year’s comedy extravaganza will once again be brimful with bars serving up a tastemaker selection of craft beers, cocktails and more, plus an array of street-food stalls from the leading lights of the local street food scene.

Tickets are expected to fly as comedy-lovers from St Albans and beyond grab the chance to see these masterfully curated shows, each featuring a host of critically-acclaimed stars guaranteeing a hit of absolute entertainment in the heart of the summer.

St Albans Comedy Garden - Sara Pascoe

The sibling team behind the Comedy Garden, Cass Randolph and Will Briggs of 57 Festivals, can’t wait to return to St Albans. Cass said “We’re thrilled with this year’s line-up and to be back in Verulamium Park, we had such a great first year last summer, the audiences were an absolute riot, far livelier than we had expected! The acts really feed off that kind of energy and in turn give incredible performances.”

Will added “We have some outstanding acts joining us this year, i’m especially looking forward to seeing Dylan Moran headline our opening night and can’t wait to watch stand-out newcomers CELYA AB and FATIHA EL-GHORRI on the big stage.”

St Albans Comedy Garden - Joel Dommett

This year’s event is partnered with heycar, Chief Commercial Officer Karen Hilton said: “With this year’s Comedy Garden returning to St Albans, it’s shaping up to be an incredible, feel-good summer. We have so much laughter to catch up on after the last few years and I can’t think of a better way to do it. The line-up is truly world-class, and we’re particularly looking forward to seeing the incredible Joel Dommett in action. heycar is honoured to be sponsoring this incredible event and we can’t wait to see everyone in St Albans this July!”

St Albans Comedy Garden tickets

Get your tickets now and be part of this year’s magnificent St Albans Comedy Garden! Visit the website to find out more www.stalbanscomedygarden.co.uk

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Film & Theatre

Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Project is back for 2022

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Returning for the first time since 2019, this year sees the return of Wycombe Swan’s Summer Youth Project.

Returning for the first time since 2019, this year sees the return of Wycombe Swan’s Summer Youth Project. Running since 1993, numerous participants have gone on to have successful careers both on and off stage. Join us on our next adventure! Build confidence, develop skills, have fun, and make long-lasting friendships.

About Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Project (SYP)

Over the two-week project, Wycombe Swan comes alive to the sights and sounds of 150 young people doing everything they can to put on a full-scale musical in time for curtain up!

Participants have the option of taking to the stage as a performer, or to make magic happen as part of the Technical Team.

All performances take place on our main stage in the 1,000 seated Wycombe Swan Theatre.

Only those wishing to have a principal/speaking role or be a dance captain need to audition.

Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Project is back for 2022

Big Fish The Show

This year, the show is BIG FISH. Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton.

AUDITIONS (FOR THOSE WISHING TO HAVE A SPEAKING ROLE): Sunday 22 May

DATES: Mon 15 to Sunday 28 August

AGES: 9-21 (performers). 14-21 (technical team)

PRICE: £190

It is our wish that no young person misses out due to financial constraints. For this reason, we offer bursaries of up to 100% so that anybody can take part.

TO APPLY, AND FOR MORE INFO: Visit https://wycombeswan.co.uk/Online/summerproject

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday 13 May

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