The Lib Dem leaders of Hinckley and Bosworth council took the brave step of committing to the building before their partner organisations. If they had waited, we are certain the reluctance of partners to commit to the unknown means that this site would still be derelict adding no jobs or output to the economy. Today we have a landmark building providing jobs and economic activity.
In Wolverhampton the final phase of the Blakenhall Gardens Regeneration scheme is all sold. Keepmoat plc and Chown Commercial had the task of appraising the value of new retail units in 2008 where none had been built for over 50 years, major national brands had moved out and the area had antisocial disorder issues. Our clients strong design and place making skills led us to the belief that the market would recognise and pay for a quality product. We achieved prices which made the development viable when most thought this was impossible, we have now sold all of phase 1 and 2.
What does this tell us? That Regeneration projects take an awful long time? Partly, but more importantly there are individuals involved who choose to take difficult decisions which are easy to deride and argue against but which ultimately contribute to the greater good.
Similarly brave steps have been taken in Northampton by WNDC in the Waterside Project and we hope to see the same spirit taken forward by NBC.