Skip to main content


Pick Everard round table: Regenerating our towns and cities

3 Jul 2024

Oliver Hatton

Oliver Hatton


Hosted at the Pick Everard Nottingham office, Oliver Hatton, director of project management, chaired the latest round table discussion on regenerating our towns and cities.

The effectiveness of urban regeneration hinges on the seamless coordination between central government, local authorities, planners, consultants, and other stakeholders. The current landscape, however, is fraught with challenges that impede the progress of regeneration projects. Addressing these issues requires a strategic approach to funding, planning, and public perception.

Funding and Resource Allocation

Local authorities often face a vicious cycle of underfunding and understaffing. Without adequate resources, councils struggle to secure necessary funding, stalling regeneration projects. It is imperative that funding structures are stabilised, with long-term funding pots that extend beyond annual allocations. This will ensure continuity and consistency in project delivery, regardless of political changes.

Planning and Execution

One of the primary bottlenecks in regeneration is the planning process, which is currently overwhelmed with resource constraints. Streamlining the planning process and ensuring sufficient staffing levels are critical for initiating and progressing projects. Furthermore, the planning criteria should be relevant and tailored to the specific needs of the area, avoiding unnecessary additions that only serve to secure funding.

Public Perception and Education

The perception of regeneration projects by the public and government officials is often short-sighted, focused on quick wins rather than long-term benefits. Educating the public on the long-term vision and the inherent slow pace of regeneration can mitigate the pressure for immediate results. A shared narrative that aligns public and private sector goals is essential for successful project outcomes.

Collaboration and Recruitment

Effective collaboration between the private and public sectors is essential and recent major regeneration schemes in both Leicester and Nottingham demonstrate how this can help drive the delivery of exceptional regeneration projects. Similarly, Sheffield exemplifies this successful integrated collaboration; the partnership between the Sheffield Property Association and Sheffield Council along with wider partners and funding bodies, serves as a model worth emulating.

Attracting and retaining talent within local authorities is another pressing issue. Initiatives such as fast-track career programmes for graduates, rotational placements across councils, and mentorship opportunities can make public sector roles more appealing. Additionally, embedding public and private sector experience into planning courses can provide a comprehensive understanding of both environments.

Regeneration projects require a holistic and coordinated approach that encompasses stable funding, streamlined planning, public education, and collaborative efforts between all stakeholders. By addressing these areas, we can ensure the successful and sustainable regeneration of our urban landscapes, fostering vibrant and resilient communities for the future.