Institute of Digital Technology Partner Event

I get treated to Afternoon Tea at Woburn Abbey to celebrate Milton Keynes College making it through the first stage towards Bletchley Park Institute of Digital Technology

Last Tuesday was the hottest day in 2018 so far. Not only hot but beautiful too. The skies were bluer than blue and everywhere had a tropical look that rarely ever happens in England.


And rather than waste the day indoors I was heading down the A5 to Woburn.

I had been invited to afternoon tea at The Sculpture Gallery Woburn Abbey by Milton Keynes College. The occasion? To celebrate passing the first stage of their bid for Milton Keynes to have an Institute of Technology.

The college has its sights set on an Institute of Digital Technology at Bletchley Park to help nurture students and the next generation of digital creators.

How fitting is that for Bletchley Park? Our famous landmark in Milton Keynes. The place where the codebreakers from the second world war worked their magic. A place of innovation and vision. It’s the perfect location.

Milton Keynes College are proposing to reinstate an old wartime building at Bletchley Park to create a digital technology home which will cover technical qualifications, apprenticeships and training. To give students and learners a place where they can explore and push the boundaries of digital life today for tomorrow.

The college have just made it through the first round of the application process. Milton Keynes is the only college in the region to get through this initial round. Great work!

There are further stages they need to manoeuvre but who has a better history for excelling and getting their goals?

Milton Keynes College in recent years has opened a Patisserie Academy with world renowned chef, Claire Clark. The student restaurant The Brasserie has been an AA college Restaurant of the Year Finalist for 2016 and 2017. Then won Restaurant of the Year 2018 at the MK Food & Leisure Awards, and I’m proudly told by Dr Julie Mills FRSA (Principle and CEO of Milton Keynes College) in her welcoming address that the college is now regarded as one of the best places to study in the whole country. What a great achievement for everyone who is involved with the college.





So a celebratory afternoon tea was in order. Prepared for the guests by none other than the students from The Brasserie.

I invited Vanessa Holmes from Milton Keynes Hospital Charity to join me as my guest for tea. It was so nice to see her, and also to see Jean Gowin (CityFibre).

First of all we started with a drinks reception. You couldn’t escape the heat inside or out but we sipped on refreshing lemonade drinks and soaked up the beautiful and very grand surroundings of The Sculpture Gallery.







Ever wondered how nudes were sent before smartphones and webcams? Below is your answer.





The Brasserie staff kept us filled up with tons of finger sandwiches, tea and coffee and plates and plates of cream and jam scones and dainty cakes. Jugs of iced lemonade and other drinks too.

Nom. Nom. NOM.

I heard that The Brasserie staff had actually finished for the summer (The Brasserie is closed until college is back later in the year) but they chose to come back to cater this event, because, well, they are awesome.

Plates were never left empty without refilling and the jugs of drinks were replenished fast. The whole team from chef to service treated us like royalty. Thank you very much to all of you.






After we had our stomachs stuffed with afternoon tea we were treated to some speakers.


There was Dr Julie Mills FRSA, Police Constable Jon Kidd, Professor Lynette Ryals and Maggie Philbin.

Each gave us interesting talks relating to the Institute of Technology bid and the industry in general.

Police Constable Jon Kidd is a Cyber Consultant with the Falcon Cyber Crime Team for Metropolitan Police (below).


He gave us a very interesting talk about identifying children and young adults who are on the fringe of committing cyber dependant crimes and, instead of punishing them, how to utilise their skills and engage them in positive pathways that will benefit the person and the industry at the same time.

Professor Lynette Ryals then took the stand. Professor Ryals is from Cranfield University where she is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the School of Management. She is also the Programme Director for MK:U, the brand new university coming to Milton Keynes. She used her time with us to discuss the plans for MK:U. One of the things that people leave Milton Keynes for is to study at university and how amazing is it that one day soon, that won’t have to always be the case?


Maggie Philbin was a familiar face in the programme who addressed the guests next. She is the CEO & Co-Founder of organisation TeenTech but is probably most famous for her TV on Tomorrow’s World (er, blast from the past! Who remembers Tomorrow’s World?! Who also wonders whether all the crazy inventions actually happened or not? 😂).

Maggie gave a talk about the work of TeenTech and showed us a video of an event they held.

Then it was time to fill up for a second time, because how hard is it to resist sandwiches and cakes when they are all piled up in front of you? Diet well and truly out the window.





Congratulations on your success so far Milton Keynes College and good luck for the next stage.

To find out more about the Institute of Digital Technology at Bletchley Park check out their website 🙂👉🏻