Tuesday 20 February 2018


Taking stock and looking ahead

With initiatives such as the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine, not to mention the wider devolution agenda, the government has signalled its determination to drive economic development and rebalance the economy. While the sums involved aren’t large, there is also more funding available for regeneration and infrastructure than at any point since 2010. On the flipside, the industry looks set to lose access to European regional development funding as soon as the Brexit process is complete. As 2017 unfolds, how can local authorities and their private sector partners make the most of the resources available to regenerate communities across the UK?


Opening Keynote Address: Getting the best deal for your region

The overdue devolution of powers from central government to local government has been, by and large, welcomed by both the public and private sectors. However, devolution also comes with a set of both political and economic challenges for all concerned. Key issues include whether protracted Brexit negotiations will distract the government from its devolution agenda; whether government is prepared to provide sufficient autonomy to local authorities to allow them to truly drive economic development; and how devolution agreement can be devised to meet local circumstances.


Panel: How to connect northern cities to maximise economic development

Large cities in the North have a critical mass that could one day provide a counterweight to London.  However, achieving a step change in the North’s economic performance will require major investment in its creaking transport infrastructure. The government’s commitment to HS2 is, of course, welcome. But without further investment in connections between the great cities of the North, the risk is that it will only increase the brain drain to London. The question is: how can transport links best be improved to maximise economic development in the North.

Pat Ritchie , Chief Executive, Newcastle City Council

Morning Break, Networking and Refreshments


Panel: How to attract investment for regeneration projects

Towns and cities across the UK have significant regeneration opportunities that combined could add billions of pounds to GDP. However, unlocking those opportunities comes at a cost and civic leaders have to make a compelling case to investors – both domestic and international – about why their community is ripe for a cash injection. At a time when the UK’s place in the world is uncertain, how can cities best set out their stalls?

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor, London Borough of Newham
Chris Tinker, ‎Executive Board Director & Regeneration Chairman, Crest Nicholson
Pete Gladwell, Head, Public Sector Partnerships, Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets

Business Rates Devolution: how 100% business rates retention can incentivise growth

In 2015, George Osborne announced that from 2020 councils will retain 100% of business rates, with grants from central government to be phased out. While handing over business rates to local authorities should provide an incentive for local leaders to boost local enterprise and economic activity, questions remain over what it will mean for less prosperous areas. Nevertheless, 100% devolution does provide many areas with a new revenue stream. The question is how the money can be put to best use to kick start regeneration and maximise economic development? 

Alexandra Jones, CEO, Centre for Cities
Professor Tony Travers, LSE
Mark Higgins, Partner, Montagu Evans

Panel: How enterprise-driven local authorities are creating long-term income streams

Prompted by a steep decline in central government spending, local authorities are increasingly borrowing to invest in commercial property, not just to give a boost to their own areas but to provide long-term income streams. In this sense they are becoming players in the property market.  The panel will discuss the rationale behind the trend, the types of  assets local authorities are buying and how the financing stacks up, as well as the possible risks involved.

Chaired by: Alan Harris, Partner, Montagu Evans

Lunch and Networking


Panel: Public-Private Partnerships - looking for a partner not a scheme

The cornerstone of a successful public-private partnership is the alignment of all parties’ interests, whether that means providing a return to a private sector partner or securing long term improvements for a community. We bring leading regeneration developers together with public sector leaders to showcase how this can be done and what potential there is for a more coordinated approach to secure funding, speed up delivery and unlock long term economic potential.

Richard Upton, Deputy Chief Executive, U+I
Liz Peace CBE , Chair, Curzon Urban Regeneration Company
Mike Auger , Regional Director, South, Muse
Stephen Wicks, Chief Executive, Inland Homes
Chaired by: Richard McCarthy CBE, Executive Director: Central Government, Capita

Panel: A Sense of Place - communities, culture and Identity

As regeneration projects become more sophisticated, there is a push to breathe life into developments by including cultural elements in large, mixed-use projects. But how can the value that culture brings to both developments and communities be quantified? And how can authorities and developers ensure that cultural spaces are sustainable?

Mark Davy, Founder, Futurecity
David Roberts, Deputy Chief Executive, Igloo Regeneration

Afternoon Break, Networking and Refreshments


Closing Keynote Address: A matter of leadership: what it is, what it takes, and how to implement it

Strong leadership is probably the most important element in a successful regeneration strategy. But what does strong leadership really look like? How can it be defined, identified and nurtured? And how can leaders reconcile competing interests to achieve a result that works for everyone?  As the dust settles from the election of metro mayors in May, we will hear about what it takes to provide inspiring leadership.


Chairs Closing Remarks and Conference end

The organisers reserve the right to change the programme, speakers or venue should circumstances require.
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