It has been a few years now since CIPFA Property has run an annual conference. So when asked to consider if I might revive this event, of most interest to me was the choice of theme.
As the only public sector membership institution that can truly be seen to fuse together both property and finance, it seemed logical to create an event that had both appeal and direct relevance to those of us in these two areas seeking to deliver best practice. Our experience over many years in the delivery of network events, consultancy support and training has affirmed two things.
Firstly, that local authorities of all shapes and sizes recognise fully their responsibilities to be a catalyst and, indeed, a delivery agent of regeneration at a local level. Secondly, given the size and complexities of public sector organisations, one of the biggest barriers which exists in the achievement of effective regeneration continues to be the extent to which public sector organisations operating in this area struggle to effectively collaborate, communicate and share best practice.
So, when deciding on a theme which resonates across the public sector—most significantly within finance and property circles, which are crying out for a need to share best practice and experience—I felt the topic of regeneration fit perfectly!
Theresa May might have decreed: "the end of austerity is nigh". But it remains a fact that most local authorities across the UK are still feeling its effects sharply. Having struggled to cope with stringent and wide-ranging cuts over several years, not only are local authorities lacking the funds to effect regeneration, they also lack some of the key skills, experience and knowledge due to staff cuts. Whilst the culture and character of our local authority institutions remain largely unchanged - and we all still seek to deliver a better place for those who live and work in our boroughs - the competencies needed to deliver on this ideal have been severely eroded with authorities.
Regeneration 2019 therefore seeks not only to bring together those throughout the public sector involved in the delivery of regeneration policy, strategy, planning and projects, it also seeks to bring alongside the experiences and competencies of those in the private sector upon whom we are now so much more dependent. Whether a transitory situation or a long-term shift in the way we are seeking to achieve our regeneration aims, our need to collaborate more effectively and efficiently with private sector organisations has never been so important.
So what can one hope to gain of real tangible and practical benefit when attending Regeneration 2019?
Through the themes of housing, economics, infrastructure or town centres, those charged with development and delivery of policy, strategy and plans will hear from thought leaders in these areas, thus helping them shape their approach and inform their thought processes. For those charged with delivery at the coalface, each of these four key areas will be the subject of 'deep dive' workshops that will deliver insightful and practical examples of best practice. Crucially, these will be delivered by those, both from the public and private sectors, who have actually delivered positive outcomes in support of regeneration. The conference therefore delivers content, case studies and examples of what has worked well - as well as what we, as public sector professionals and property experts, are seeking to achieve now and in the future.
For event and programme queries, contact Denise Edwards or call T: 0124 439 4600. If you have any booking queries, please call Lauren Tandon or call 020 7324 2764.
Are you are a brand owner who wishes to access the public sector market? If so, please contact our commercial manager Marcus Baxby or call 0207 543 5841 / 07917 581984.