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SEEDA study calls for partnership working to boost development

3 July 2009

A South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) report recommends a new partnership approach between property developers and the public sector to support a recovery in the development industry.

Published today, the SEEDA-commissioned report, Beyond the Crunch – Building a Stronger South East , by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), investigates the impact of the recession on development in the South East and makes innovative recommendations on how to boost recovery.

The report, the result of extensive consultation with industry leaders and local authorities, finds that the recession has highlighted inherent weaknesses in the development industry. It recommends that new ways of working are needed to aid development recovery if the industry is to successfully regain momentum. Recommendations include the following:

  • Closer private and public sector working to identify priority sites and schemes
  • A new focus on skills and training across the industry
  • Innovative finance solutions, such as pilots for Tax Increment Financing.

Jim Brathwaite CBE, SEEDA's Chairman, said: "SEEDA recognises the importance of the development sector to the overall economic success of the South East. Both public and private sectors involved in the industry want to see it recover and so it is vital to explore new ways of working that could help speed this process. We want this study to stimulate opinions from the sector to help move this debate forward."

Sarah Whitney, Managing Director of the Regeneration and Development team at CBRE, said: "Out of adversity comes opportunity and SEEDA was quick to recognise this by seizing the initiative to comprehensively consult across the development sector on both issues and practical solutions that the public and private sectors should consider implementing. At the heart of the report is the recognition that relationships between developers and local authorities need to change. Winning relationships in future will be based on mutual understanding, shared risk and reward, and common goals and objectives. The new financing and delivery models outlined in the report will only be deliverable if these new relationships are established. This is likely to require a considerable shift in behaviours and we have therefore included a number of recommendations which specifically address the demands of the new relationships."

Beyond the Crunch – Building a Stronger South East and its companion document providing a detailed assessment of the property market in the region are available from the South East Excellence website.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Jessica Stewart, Media Relations Manager, SEEDA
Tel: 01483 501 307

Eva Tyler, Head of Marketing and Communications, SEEDA
Tel: 01483 501 390

View full media release here.

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