Milton Keynes ), often abbreviated MK, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, in the south east of England, about 49 mi north-west of London. It is also the administrative centre of the Borough of Milton Keynes. It was formally designated as a new town on 23 January 1967, with the design brief to become a 'city' in scale.At designation, its 89 km2 area incorporated the existing towns of Bletchley, Wolverton and Stony Stratford along with another fifteen villages and farmland in between. It took its name from the existing village of Milton Keynes, a few miles east of the planned centre.At the 2001 census the population of the Milton Keynes urban area, including the adjacent Newport Pagnell, was 184,506, and that of the wider borough, which has been a unitary authority independent of Buckinghamshire County Council since 1997, was 207,063 (compared with a population of around 53,000 for the same area in 1961). The Borough’s population in 2009 is estimated to be nearly 241,000, with almost all the increase arising in the urban area.