An independent regeneration and partnerships practitioner, born in Liverpool, he has over 35 years’ experience working across a range of planning, environmental and architectural initiatives, including development projects, town centres and the countryside of Salford and neighbourhoods of Merseyside. During a decade at the NWDA he established the Centre of Excellence for Regeneration and managed the brownfield land regeneration portfolio.
Before establishing his own company, he spent three years at Liverpool Vision working with the team in North Liverpool. He lists his hobbies as: The Smiths; spending other people’s money on more interesting things than they had intended it for; and, trying to understand the world with pictures.
Steve Cole, Director: Make UK Modular
Steve Cole is the Director of Make UK Modular, the voice of the modular housing sector. He arrived in housing via environmentalism (with detours as a chef and an author). He has worked in the public, private, and voluntary sector and specialises in innovation, sustainability, and strategy. Before joining Make UK he was Head of Strategy with Clarion Group, and Programme Director for Housing at BusinessLDN.
Head of GDF Siting
Nuclear Waste Services Ltd
Steve Reece is a Chartered Mining Engineer and is currently Head of GDF Siting for Nuclear Waste Services Ltd. Steve initially worked in the South Wales and Durham coalfields and later became Mine Manger at Winsford Rocksalt Mine where he was instrumental in developing a document archive storage facility and the UK’s first underground hazardous waste repository using the underground space created by mining. Over the last 13 years Steve has worked on the UK’s Geological Disposal Programme for Higher Activity Radioactive Waste and in Australia on feasibility studies for geological disposal of hazardous wastes.
Mayor of Liverpool City Region
Raised in Kirkby in a family of eight children, Steve left school at 16 to pursue a career as a bricklayer, starting out as an apprentice.
In 2010, Steve was elected as MP for Liverpool Walton, where he led campaigns for justice for the Hillsborough families; in support of blacklisted workers and for compensation for those suffering from mesothelioma and asbestosis.
In 2017, Steve was elected as the first Mayor of the Liverpool City Region. In his first term, he helped deliver 9,000 new jobs and 5,500 apprenticeships, set out plans for an integrated London-style transport system and set a target for the region to become net-zero carbon by 2040.
In May 2021, Steve was re-elected with an increased majority of over 132,000. He delivered a £150m COVID recovery fund, announced franchising as the preferred option for bus reform and allocated £45m in Brownfield funding.
John P Houghton
Freelance Consultant, Urban and Economic Development
John is freelance consultant and writer in the fields of urban and economic development. He supports councils, developers, and housing associations to: develop and deliver effective, long-term regeneration and place-making strategies; attract hundreds of millions in funding; and evaluate the effectiveness of their work.
He has worked in senior roles in the public and private sectors and was recently a Senior Specialist at the Investment Directorate of the Department of International Trade. He has been a member of numerous advisory groups and has written for various newspapers, journals, and trade press outlets.
John tweets @metlines – drop him a line.
Fellow, Institute of Place Management & Expert Co-Ordinator, High Streets Task Force
Joe Barratt is a Fellow at the Institute of Place Management and the Expert Co-Ordinator for the government’s High Streets Task Force. He has been involved in place-management for over ten years, having co-founded The Teenage Market, an award-winning national initiative which gives young people a free platform to showcase their creative talents, in 2012. His work has also involved the management, development and delivery of Foodie Friday, a monthly street food event in Stockport, Greater Manchester which recently won the “Best Pop-Up” award at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival for the second time, having previously won in 2016.
MRICS, Head of Business Development (South), The Land Trust
A Chartered Surveyor with over thirty years’ professional experience. He joined the Land Trust in 2019 and heads a concerted effort to win business from top land promoters and Local Authorities. He focusses on rolling out the Land Trust’s long term service charge funded model for the stewardship of Public Open Space on many of the large Garden Villages and schemes coming through the Planning system. Previously Head of Estates at a FTSE top 20 company for ten years and Partner at a national firm of Chartered Surveyors for twelve, he has a wide experience of the UK property sector.
Professor Michael Parkinson CBE
Michael is Honorary Professor at the University of Liverpool and Ambassador for its Heseltine Institute. He was made Commander of the British Empire for services to urban regeneration in 2007 and Citizen of Honour of Liverpool in 2016.
Michael has acted as adviser on urban affairs to UN Habitat, the European Commission, the European Parliament, OECD, EUROCITIES, the Department of Communities and Local Government, the National Audit Office, the House of Commons Select Committees, the Core Cities and a range of cities in the UK and Europe. He lectures extensively nationally and internationally and is a regular contributor to the media.
Michael has published over 100 books, articles and major reports. He wrote ‘Liverpool on the Brink’ in 1985. His career has been partly devoted to showing how much the city has changed since then - for the better! He published the sequel ‘Liverpool Beyond the Brink: The Remaking of a Post Imperial City’ in 2019.
Maccreanor Lavington Urban Studio
Kevin is an urbanist and urban designer. As director of Maccreanor Lavington Urban Studio, he is responsible for leading many of the office’s award winning large-scale urban and regeneration projects. He has extensive experience in the production of urban strategies, policy, large-scale masterplans, urban regeneration and mixed-use projects. His work is defined by a multifaceted approach to solution development, which considers the dynamic interaction and fluidity of urban conditions in cultural, social, political, and economic contexts.
Kevin works in both London and Rotterdam and is actively engaged in teaching and research and is associated with a number of schools of architecture. He is an active speaker at conferences and has led workshops and charrettes covering project topics of all scales, he also sits on the Architect’s Declare Steering Group.
Founder and Director of PLACED
Jo is passionate about diversifying the voices involved in the design and decision-making process in relation to the built environment, enabling more people to shape the future of places and spaces.
With over 20 years of experience in roles in regeneration, housing and education, Jo has significant expertise in working with stakeholders and communities to understand the complex issues within towns and cities.
Jo established PLACED in 2011 to deliver creative, accessible Education and Engagement programmes that enable people to meaningfully engage with and shape their built environment. She leads the team on strategic delivery and direction of programmes, from shaping policy at a City Region level to PLACED’s flagship education programme, the PLACED Academy.
Head of cities and major conurbations
Catherine heads up Homes England’s delivery partnerships with Combined and Local Authority Partners in Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and Warrington and Tees Valley and has responsibility for some of the largest emerging regeneration opportunities on patch.
Having worked for Homes England and the former Regional Development Agency for more than 15 yrs, Catherine has a breadth of experience across the Agency’s activities and previously managed some of the most complex, high value projects in the NW as well as leading on the economic assets disposals programme. She is currently Chairing the Steering Group for Wirral Left Bank, one of the largest transformational opportunities in the City Region.
Prior to joining the Agency, Catherine worked in the private sector and for a national Housing Association. She is a Chartered Surveyor and professionally qualified in commercial property and quantity surveying as well as housing development.
Director of Development for Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters
Appointed as Director of Development for Peel L&P’s £5bn Liverpool Waters regeneration project in April 2021, Chris has over 20 years’ experience working in regeneration and property development.
Chris joined the Liverpool Waters team at an exciting time, with £700m of live development on site including the Everton Stadium and the Isle of Man ferry terminal. Liverpool Waters has also delivered over 660 new homes since 2019 with more in the pipeline. Chris also sits on the Liverpool Place Partnership Board and the Culture and Commerce BID Board.
Dr Matthew Trewhella
CEO, The Kensa Group
Matt joined Kensa in 2013 and has overseen the development of Kensa Contracting’s large scale delivery operations, helping pioneer the use of ambient shared ground loop ground source heat pump systems in the UK.
Matt started as an academic working in the field of astrophysics. Matt completed his PhD at Cardiff University in 1997 followed by 3 years in America working on a NASA funded project. Matt began working in renewable energy in 2000 specialising in integrated renewable systems via his own design and installation business.
Director of Development for Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters
After 12 years in London working for a number of consultancies and developers, Richard joined Peel in 2002. As Director of Development for Wirral Waters, Richard leads the delivery of one of the largest, private sector led developments in the UK.
Wirral Waters is in delivery mode with commercial and public realm projects recently completed and over 1,000 new homes onsite now. He sits on various external boards and is also a Governor of the Wirral Met FE College.
Assistant Director, Real Assets Advisory, Deloitte
Michael is an Assistant Director in the Planning and Development Team at Deloitte Real Assets Advisory, based in Manchester, having joined the firm as a graduate in 2014. Since this time, he has advised on some of the largest commercial, residential and entertainment projects in Manchester City Centre, including two of the city’s largest regeneration projects in Mayfield and St. John’s. Michael is also the editor of Deloitte’s annual Regional Crane Survey and sits on the board of the Manchester Climate Change Partnership
Interim Director of City Development at Liverpool City Council
Mark Bourgeois is Interim Strategic Director of City Development at Liverpool City Council, where he is helping the Council with its transformation programme. Mark has over 30 years' experience in the commercial property sector, most recently as Managing Director for UK and Ireland at Hammerson plc, where he led the development and operation of their substantial portfolio of city centre estates. Mark was President of Revo (formerly British Council of Shopping Centres) and is a member of the Grants and Impacts Committee of LandAid, the property industry’s youth homelessness charity.
Director of Regeneration and Economic Growth at Bury Council
Paul Lakin is the Director of Regeneration and Economic Growth at Bury Council. Paul leads on a substantial portfolio of growth projects across the borough which includes Prestwich, Radcliffe and Bury Town Centres and Northern Gateway. He also leads the Estates Transformation Programme which is a review of Council own buildings. Under his remit he manages the statutory services as well as delivery teams. With a strong focus on securing direct investment returns to ensure increase jobs and social benefit.
CEO, Creative Concern
Steve Connor is the founder and CEO of Creative Concern, one of the UK’s first and leading agencies exclusively dedicated to place, social issues and communications for a sustainable future. Steve works with cities, NGOs and corporations on projects that focus on sustainability strategy and campaigns, city futures, green transport, climate change, place branding and anything to do with trees or bikes. Steve is the green lead on the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, and has recently been chair of the Community Forest Trust and of the Manchester Climate Change Partnership.
Executive Director - Operations and Customer Service, Regenda Group
Stephanie Harrison nearly 30 years experience in the housing sector delivering large scale regeneration programmes aimed at improving outcomes for both people and place. Working at a senior level she has responsibilities in the Regenda Group for Regenda Homes (Housing Association), The Learning Foundry (private training provider), Petrus (homeless charity) and Centre 56 (nursery) alongside the strategic direction of the full organisation. Steph is a member of the LEP Employment and Skills Board and the Chair of Vibe which is a northwest based youth organisation. Steph and the Regenda Group are passionate about education being a route out of poverty and work towards upskilling both local communities and businesses to create opportunities for all and bringing talent forward from all parts of society.
Director, Design South East
Chris is the Director of Design South East, an organisation that helps local authorities and their stakeholders deliver sustainable, well-designed places. Design South East’s training strengthens the design management capacity and capabilities of local authorities and their stakeholders, its guidance and advice helps to shape and improve policies and projects, and its facilitation leads to constructive collaboration between stakeholders and with communities. Chris trained and practiced as an architect and taught undergraduate and post-graduate architecture at a number of universities in the UK and Europe. Passionate about placemaking and the value of good design, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, a member of the Academy of Urbanism and a member of The Architecture Club. He is also the current chair of the national Design Network, which consists of seven organisations delivering support to local authorities, developers and communities and driven by a common purpose - to help people shape great places.
Joint Managing Director Capital&Centric
John is a former economist and once rising star in the property world, having led major regeneration projects across the UK at a young age. Now, he plays a critical leadership role at Capital&Centric – the Manchester-based social impact developers behind some of the most creative and eye-catching developments in the North. As Joint Managing Director, he leads on the developer’s pipeline of game-changing projects, from new communities such as Weir Mill in Stockport to restoration of Liverpool’s iconic Littlewoods building into a world-class film and TV hub.