All hail the Northern Gateway

So… as we gear up for the third MIPIM UK today, what is in store for the market facing locations in the UK, post Brexit? Well this year, I am thrilled to present the Northern Gateway Development Zone at MIPIM UK. This is the result of an innovative and ground-breaking partnership which has come together […]

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Farmer mucks in to beat construction woes

I have written many times about the luminosity of Mark Farmer (see blogs 5 November 2015, 9 February 2016, 26 April 2016) but he really is a Top Man. He is also very busy. He has just published the Farmer Review, an independent study commissioned by two government departments on the construction skills deficit. In […]

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The real cost of SDLT… but is anyone listening?

We all find ourselves rather diverted by today’s front cover of the Estates Gazette, a (presumably eye wateringly expensive) advertisement paid for by Residential Land. As one of my housebuilder mates commented, pithily and somewhat wearily: “Well done Bruce Ritchie – but is anybody listening?” Well, my very real hunch is that they are. And […]

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Full of eastern promise

Monday had me addressing the East of England LGA (Local Government Association) conference entitled “Re-imagining regeneration in the East” and I found myself at a seriously worthwhile event, and totally among friends.  I have a bit of a soft spot for the LGA, and for the East of England mob in particular. Led by the […]

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Stoke is fired up for the future

Bit of an early start for me on Friday, although a true labour of love, as I scrambled on the 8am train to Stoke-on-Trent for the launch of the Ceramics Valley Enterprise Zone. I am becoming something of a champion of Stoke and the surrounding conurbation, and you lucky people will be hearing more of […]

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My old boss will be a fine captain of industry

The reshuffle in July meant a huge promotion for my erstwhile gaffer (and all-time hero) Greg Clark, of course. The combination of energy with industrial strategy makes for a most compelling proposition, even if it does result in the rather ugly acronym of BEIS (and a bit of a fracas while two sets of civil […]

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Conservatives’ new signing is right up my Street

The conference this week also reassured me that I wasn’t wrong about the continued potency of the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine constructs (see blog 29 September). Yes, they are very much here to stay, and I promise you will see them being even further populated at MIPIM UK in a few days’ time. And […]

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Housing – beyond the fringe, on every agenda

Well now! Just how wrong can you be? The Conservative party conference was NOT bothering with the issues of ageing, as I had rather daftly suggested in my last blog. In fact, the issue of our aging population barely got a look in (although one glance at the demographic of the party faithful certainly confirms […]

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Inventive solutions needed for age-old issues

Apparently it was “Older person’s day” on Saturday. Well, as I gathered myself together after a hard week to schlep to Birmingham for Conservative party conference (a pursuit I thought I had left behind decades ago) in the rain, I was thinking: I’ll vouch for that!  I was certainly feeling my age. Worse still is […]

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Adding fuel to both powerhouse and engine

Those who had assumed that the summer reshuffle meant, at best, something of a demotion of the construct of the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine may need to look again.  It would seem that these are powerful concepts, that have captured the imagination of those in the areas concerned, and they are here to […]

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