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Re-Purposing and Re-Vitalising Town Centres

Getting from A to B: But Where do we Seek to go, and How do we Get There?

Session 1 of the Delivering Land Assembly International Summit 

Start Date Venue Price  
18 May 2021 Virtual Conference - Session 1    

Note: All prices are to be paid in GBP and are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate

Event duration: Afternoon Virtual Seminar (1 hour 30 mins CPD).
Registration from: 15.55 (BST). Event starts at: 16.00. Event finishes at: 17.30.

A - What are the problems with towns?  

B - What is the future of towns?

C - How do we get from the problem to the solution?

  • Now that the UK is waking up from its COVID hibernation, we are now beginning to recognise the economic and investment imperatives that are needed to repurpose our urban environments.
  • The future of many UK town centre is precarious.  
  • Even Pre COVID, some local authorities were seeking to re-purpose their town centres.  Local authorities need to act as a catalyst for inward investment and visionary planning to create go to destinations for modern life, work, retail and play.  Municipal authorities need to attract populations, visitors and investors to avoid them migrating to neighbouring towns and centres.  
  • There are government funds to help support schemes that would otherwise be unviable using more traditional funding methods, but they will only be released from deliverable schemes; and such funding is likely to be time limited.

Speakers are Embedded in the Programme Below


Introduction and the Call for Action - Conference Chair: Colin Smith, Senior Director, CBRE Ltd 

The Imperatives for Change - Nicola Rigby, Principal, Avison Young

  • Drivers
  • Covid has accelerated change. Change of behaviours. Change of fortune for bricks and mortar retailers -v- internet retailers. Has Covid brought forward obsolescence of buildings, districts and traditional local authority services?
  • What impact has that had on property investors?
  • Have High Streets been put in terminal decline?
  • Increased and sustained home working requires employers to question their occupancy needs.  This will result in significant drops in footfalls in many urban environments
  • Change Audit: Quantifying the extent of change and its potential impact
  • The Consequences of Doing Nothing
  • Obsolescence and deprivation and loss of inward investment
  • Catalysts
  • Is the commercial sector in good enough health to bring forward macro regeneration and renewal schemes?  Are they capable of remodelling communities?
  • Does the responsibility rest with public sector leadership with central government funding and incentives?
  • The new viability conundrum: schemes should be less profit led, but strategic and sustainability led for a Covid changed world
  • Micro development opportunities for more typical developers

A Case Study - John Sayer, Senior Director, CBRE

How to Respond - Virginia Blackman, Principal and National Head of Site Assembly & Compulsory Purchase, Avison Young

  • No land and no rights to it equals no change!
  • Land assembly strategies and tactics
  • Retaining control
  • Site assembly and development partners

Chaired Panel Session with Q & A's

With Dr Jonathan Carr-West Chief Executive, Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), Jonathan Bower, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson and all above speakers.