Levelling Up and Regeneration Summit

By Victoria Tomlinson · 17 November 2022

Last week I attended the brilliant Levelling Up and Regeneration Summit held at The Eastside Rooms in Birmingham.  The summit was held over one day, but wow did the organisers manage to fit a lot onto the agenda!

In attendance were the Director General of DLUHC and the Chair of Homes England, so it was clear Government is still fully committed to its levelling up agenda. Presentations were given by Sheffield City Council and Blackpool Council, who received some of the first Levelling Up Towns and Cities funding.  Their overview of what had been achieved so far, the barriers they faced, and the huge amount of learning gained from the pilots provided insights into how levelling up has helped them to unlock opportunities and establish better ways of working with Government departments.  What stood out was both councils stated the need to fully engage with Housing Providers and involve them early in their plans. The need for active and ongoing dialogue was clearly vital for levelling up regeneration projects to be successful.

A number of the breakout sessions focused on community engagement and one of the takeaway phrases from the day was listening to your ‘Experts by Experience’. Residents living in communities know their areas; they can enable real cocreation of plans and policies and ensure the success of regeneration projects.

There was a clear drive to deliver housing provision in town and city centres, which probably won’t come as a surprise, but have we all really embraced the opportunities this offers?  There can be a fear of city centre accommodation, concerns about dense one bedroom accommodation requiring intensive management, but if management costs are factored in at the beginning could we be more open minded?

Homes England highlighted the importance of strategic partnerships in delivering collaboration and identifying opportunities. Links between health and housing was a key point raised throughout the day. Examples were explored, highlighting the brilliant work being delivered and more case studies highlighting these successes would be so helpful for us all. We all need to seek them out.  

In terms of the future the Phase 2 Levelling Up allocations will soon be announced, with a clear focus on Regeneration and Town Centre Investment. You can read more about when the announcements will be made here Levelling Up Fund Round 2: prospectus – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Blackpool Council also highlighted their involvement in piloting Decent Homes Standard compliance for private landlords.  Government’s intention is to roll out new legislation for private sector landlords. That will come into force in 2025 and Blackpool will trial this to inform legislation development. Many Local Authorities will need to be considering how they will resource this new legislative requirement. Will teams have enough resource to deliver the enforcement this change will inevitably need?

At ARK Consultancy, we work with many housing providers to help them deliver their development plans, formulate new strategies, and develop collaborative approaches.

If you wish to learn more on this matter or would like to speak to an expert on how we could support your organisation call us today on 0121 515 3831.

Victoria Tomlinson

Development Director

Victoria has worked at executive and senior level with a number of RPs over the last twenty years, having strategic and operational responsibilities for Development, Asset Management, Compliance and Corporate Health and Safety.

Victoria also has extensive experience of delivering regeneration projects, S106 acquisitions, land led and package deals plus commercial sale developments. She also has experience of leading and managing sales and leasehold management teams.

 

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