Business/local government discuss economic growth for NW

Published:  12 September, 2012

MANCHESTER: Leading figures in business and local government will come together today to discuss the role of the property industry in helping to unlock economic growth and regeneration in the North West.

The debate follows Salford council's announcement that it had approved plans for one of the UK's biggest regeneration projects after it had earlier this year approved planning permission to expand the Salford Shopping City in Pendleton.

After a nine-year consultation, the £430m scheme hopes to build 1600 new homes in Salford and refurbish 1200 existing properties.

It was also create new parks and open spaces, sports pitches, community facilities and a city farm.

This morning's debate, organised by the British Property Federation in partnership with law firm Eversheds, will discuss what the impact of the Government's growth agenda on property development in Manchester and regeneration in the North West.

Panellists include:

* Chris Grigg, chief executive, British Land 

* Sir Richard Leese, leader, Manchester City Council 

* Liz Peace, chief executive, British Property Federation

* Matthew Collings, senior associate, Eversheds LLP

* Chris Brown, Igloo Regeneration

Chair of the event Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: "After being one the area's most affected by last year's riots, the council's decision to give the green light to the regeneration project could not have come at a better time for the community. The scheme shows that there is enormous potential for growth in the North West.

"We have broadly supported the Government's new collaborative approach to regeneration and its efforts to spur growth through policies such as tax increment finance, Enterprise Zones, and the reform of local government finance.

"However, we would urge it to go further with these policies and to keep removing the barriers to regeneration to make sure these initiatives achieve their full potential."

Matthew Collings, senior associate of Eversheds LLP, added: "Eversheds is delighted to be working with the BPF in promoting the discussion of regeneration in and economic growth in the North West.

"Recent months have witnessed significant changes to the planning system both regionally and nationally as the Government seeks to encourage more development. Only last week we have seen a further series of measures announced that, we are told, will "kick start" the economy.

"I am very much looking forward to hearing the views of both the panel and the many attendees, from both the public and private sectors, as to whether these changes make the planning system fit for purpose."

Chris Brown of Igloo Regeneration said: "The Government has recently announced its package to stimulate housing development to drive growth and the economy. Manchester City Council has been leading innovation in this area and the BPF seminar will be an opportunity for the real estate industry in the region to shape and drive this initiative."

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