Watch the webinar
- Ahmed Goga, Director of Regional Policy & Clusters, CBI
- Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive Officer, Northumbrian Water
- Carl Sizer, Head of Regions, PwC
- Andy Williams, Strategy Director, AstraZeneca
- Liz Moseley, Editor and Partner, Tortoise Media (Chair)
In this session:
- Place-making is all about the story behind the place, story / opportunities to shape.
- It matters because how a place projects and describes itself to its own communities and businesses will be so important moving forward as we start driving growth in regions and the national economy.
- In general, do businesses do a good job about explaining what good things they do in a place. But it’s more important now than ever that businesses set out what they’re doing in their localities and what they're up to:
- e.g., job creation, wider impacts on supply chains, inward foreign investment.
- Next steps are to think about forming long-term partnerships with metro mayors etc - wider group on business, local authorities, educational institutions.
Heidi Mottram OBE:
- From a water company perspective, we have an incredibly strong sense of place as the resource we work with is very geographically centric. Water companies take huge interest in the regions we serve and act as anchor institutions for others to gather around.
- An example: using powers of facilitation, decided to set ourselves a challenge 5 years ago that for every £1 we spend as a company (£400m a year), that 60p of that will be spent in the regions we serve. Serve Northeast but also in Essex and Suffolk.
- Really keen to help other businesses thrive and grow their businesses alongside working with them.
- Businesses don’t need to do this on their own – real power in partnerships and local ecosystems.
- Work with the charity national energy action – are able to work with them to achieve their own internal target of eradicating water poverty in their regions. Using momentum that other people have.
- Also involved in the local LEPs and have been looking at this from academic point of view – regions and places that have a strong sense of identity outperform other areas economically.
- On Metro Mayors can be powerful beacons for a whole range of activity. Work with James Driscoll – very passionate about new zero so have been working together on a regional coalition called ‘Northeast Net-Zero’ and worked with Ben Houchen on a common underground asset map which is being scaled up around the country.
- Hosting an Innovation Festival - 12-15 July at Newcastle which everyone can get involved with.
- AstraZeneca has multiple sites in the UK, but the real story is about Cambridge - decided to go from 500 - 4,500 staff here over 4-5 year period. Came to place-making by necessity rather than by design.
- Wanted to come into the area because it had strong sense of identity which they found attractive, but only as city of 120,000 people but knew is they landed into the area with additional 4000 people - wanted to do a "do no harm" attitude to be "more like Cambridge" – recognised quality of life really important.
- New recruits and employees relocating also had to be considered – not just employees but residents of Cambridge. So, they worry about housing, local schools, traffic - all sorts of things that normal people think about.
- Astra Zeneca had to take a holistic view as they invested in the area. Spent a lot of time talking to resident’s associations / parish councils, listening to concerns and working around them.
- Has taken 5 years to know how decisions are made locally and that local businesses are there to support local authorities.
- Cambridge has a city deal – at a combined authority level it’s quite complex and work well on industrial strategies but trickier now they’re central pots of funding.
- Story of a place is so important as it’s a collaborative narrative the whole ecosystem of a place can get behind.
- PwC have 17 offices outside of London, biggest is Belfast with 3,000 people there - why? Because eco-system of local government and Queen's university who wanted to support created an attractive offer for them to invest there.
- Recent research has found PwC are directly / indirectly contributing to £500m per year impact on Northern Ireland economy – from PwC operations and supply chains. Have helped to grow local economy.
- Has led to additional foreign direct investment off the back of a story of growth.
- Local influencers / stakeholders know the story - foreign direct investment coming into a space off the back of growth and story about a place.
- Southampton example: big port, fantastic maritime and defence capabilities – challenge is how do you create collective momentum to start selling that story to attract public, private, and international investment.
- Metrics: some metrics you can go after on economic impact, but more indirect impacts you want to see – and what’s harder to measure e.g., social value.