Council-led regeneration the key to unlocking development

Andrew Ogg, Director of Leslie Jones Architecture, has co-authored a report for British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) on ‘Enabling Retail Development – the importance of local authority leadership and positive partnerships’.

The report, launched at an event on 17 July, names Britain’s top towns for council-led town centre regeneration, including two schemes by Leslie Jones – Friars Walk in Newport and The Moor Market in Sheffield.

Andrew, who has been a member of the Board of Management of BCSC since 1997 and was the first architect to hold the position of BCSC President in 2004, gave the main speech at the event outlining the findings of the report. Andrew spoke about a Local Authority’s role in unlocking development and the need to encourage Local Authorities to proactively progress initiatives. The retail property industry now has a plethora of stellar examples that show what can happen as a result of Local Authority intervention and leadership. A Local Authority’s ability to be forward-thinking and create a positive context for development was highlighted as critical in securing inward investment.

The event was chaired by Mark Bourgeois – BCSC Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Capital & Regional Plc – and Andrew was joined at the debate by Paul Sargent, Chief Executive and Co-founder, Queensberry Real Estate; Ian Anderson, Senior Director, CBRE; Mark Gaynor, Director of Housing and Regeneration, Darcorum Borough Council; and Alistair Parker, Partner, Cushman & Wakefield.

The exemplar projects acknowledge by the report are:

•             Bradford Metropolitan District Council –City Park Bradford

•             Oldham Council – The Old Town Hall at Parliament Square

•             Sheffield City Council – Sheffield City Market

•             Walsall Council – Old Square Walsall

•             Newport City Council – Friars Walk

•             Ealing Borough Council – Ealing Film Quarter

•             Hounslow Council – Hounslow High Street Quarter

•             Dacorum Borough Council – Hemel Hempstead Town Centre

•             Woking Borough Council – Woking Shopping