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Inspiration is hard to come by, but it is there

Seriously back in the swim now. Have laid waste to the in-tray. But I must say I find I am struggling to find inspiration. You sure can keep your Black Fridays and your Cyber Mondays. What a crock of nonsense. I think I might go back on holiday. And I can’t even BEGIN to deal […]

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Crewe makes the cut

My life is really quite marvellous. If rather bonkers. Fresh from the announcement that I am about to take up the chair of the Northern Gateway Development Zone (see blog 19 October), it was my extraordinary privilege to chair a session on our stand at MIPIM UK on Thursday morning about the amazing rail connectivity […]

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Gateway to opportunity – so get in early

The second leg of Brandon Lewis’s exhausting MIPIM whirl last Thursday (see Tuesday’s blog) was to launch the prospectus of the Northern Gateway Development Zone opportunities to investors and developers. The Northern Gateway is an extraordinary partnership to promote the investment potential arising from HS2 infrastructure throughout Cheshire and Warrington, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, on the […]

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MIPIM UK – a bit of a blur, all of a triumph

Sooooo… MIPIM UK 2015.  Well, it’s all a bit of a blur really… So much HAPPENED! Olympia: well it may not be Cannes, but 2015 proved that 2014 was not a fluke, and it sure does work for us.  The promised protesters were not exactly out in force (perhaps, like in my student days, the […]

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Committed to the Core

My boss, the minister for cities Greg Clark, was in Glasgow this morning where the sun was shining (needless to say it was raining down here) as the Core Cities Group (the leaders of the city councils of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield) met in Scotland, for the very first time.  […]

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Seriously good news for Derby

A cursory glance at today’s papers confirm there is now a serious national conversation under way about turbo charging economic growth in the UK. Tuesday’s announcement of £36bn of investment into infrastructure certainly seems to have captured the imagination, the PM and the chancellor being credited for this investment in the long-term capacity of the […]

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We should be so lucky to have Pete on board

Pete Waterman is my new hero. No, he really really is. Be assured I haven’t just discovered Kylie Mynogue (being more of a Doors woman actually). Nor have I converted to trainspotting (although I’ve certainly  had my moments, there was this bloke you see…). But Pete Waterman is my new poster boy for urban regeneration. […]

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HS2 must be happy to have LCR on board

Having worked closely with London and Continental Railways (LCR) during my strange sojourn at Kent Thameside, I was thrilled to see the news this week that LCR (which was of course the brilliant team behind the delivery of High Speed 1) is to join forces with HS2 Ltd to develop proposals for a regeneration company […]

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UDCs are back in fashion

Two observations to be made today: First, there’s nothing new under the sun; second, the cause of urban regeneration is far from dead. Hurrah hurrah hurrah (I guess, on both of these counts). Apparently, UK regeneration policy should feature… wait for it… Urban Development Corporations (UDCs)!  This is according to some new research by the […]

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No end to the madness

Farewell then, Olympians.  Leave us then. Leave us in this mess.     What to say about planning reform today? Oh why bother? It’s almost not worth commenting. Just let ’em all get on with it. It’s all mad. And at this rate it’s going to become even madder than last summer’s exhausting and ill-informed […]

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