Podcast

Redefining our towns and cities – secrets to transform place

Michael Taylor, Manchester Metropolitan University talks to Ciara Keeling, Bruntwood, a major property group which features Circle Square and Director, Mike Thomas in the latest from our Vibrant Voices podcast series. With a place only being as successful as the people within it, they will discuss the importance of regeneration, and the opportunities this brings.

In these excerpts from the podcast Ciara and Mike discuss the secret of transforming place, how the Vibrant Economy Index can help, and how people, businesses and place-shapers can make the areas we live, work and play, thrive.

A tale of two cities

Michael: “What do you make of this idea that is often a tale of two cities within the same city?”

Ciara: “I think it’s really very clear that economic measures only ever tell part of the story. I completely agree that there absolutely is a tale of two cities, I think the Vibrant Economic Index that was described earlier is a much more powerful indicator. For me, Manchester is a really good example, as are many other cities, where you have very strong economic growth and strong projections going forward. But there are severe underlying issues of worklessness, homelessness and skills gaps.”

The austerity affect

Michael: “Is there a sense in this era of austerity that’s going to be more important?”

Mike: “Most of the bodies I’ve worked with are in the public sector and you know we’ve had 10 years of cuts to local authority budgets, particularly to local government and they’ve had to reprioritise where they’re putting their money and focusing it. As you can imagine they’ve got some significant demands in some of their mainland services like adult social care and children social care. So actually, they’re moving out of some of their more discretionary service areas because they can’t afford to spend in those and they’re relying more and more on the third sector charities community interest companies and the innovative bodies to actually fill those spaces.”

Aim for purpose

Michael: “How important is that sense of purpose about making places, and how does that mean that you’re a different sort of operator in that property space but also as a major employer?”

Ciara: “We want to make these cities work for everybody. Not just the customers in our buildings, or our developments but for the wider population for those cities. And we’ve always had that as a deep sense of purpose. We’ve been operating for 41 years so you know, this isn’t new grind for us really.”

Michael Taylor, Manchester Metropolitan University talks to Ciara Keeling from major property group Bruntwood, and Mike Thomas a director in our firm in the latest Vibrant Voices podcast. With a place only being as successful as the people within it, they will discuss the importance of regeneration, and the opportunities this brings. And look at how the Vibrant Economy Index can contribute to this regeneration.

 

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