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Beyond the Crunch - Building a stronger South East

25 March 2009

Lending a momentum to recovery in development in the South East

At the 'Beyond the Crunch' conference to develop practical recommendations to speed the recovery in development in the South East at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London today, Pam Alexander, SEEDA Chief Executive said: "When the upturn comes it will not be a return to business as usual. New models are needed and new ways of collaborating, to forward fund infrastructure investment and to drive value for communities alongside profits for developers."

As part of a major study underway to review the impact of the credit crunch on development in the South East, commissioned from CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) by SEEDA, senior national and regional public and private sector stakeholders today met to debate and develop practical recommendations for action to implement new models for public and private sector collaboration.

Four key questions of the study were explored over the short, medium and longer terms:

  • What will the property market and its key stakeholders look like?
  • What might the new financial delivery models be?
  • What action should the public sector take now and in the future?
  • What does this mean for the delivery of skills in the region?

The conference and round table debates today highlighted the importance of not seeing the upturn as a future return to “business as usual” but to seizing the opportunity for change in the delivery of public and private sector partnerships to drive development projects.

Feeding in to the study’s development of new models for the forthcoming report and recommendations, the conference focused on Tax Increment Finance Schemes (TIFS), new models for an intermediate private rented sector, and local asset backed vehicles and the skills needed to speed the recovery across the South East.

The conference, chaired by Peter Sissons, was addressed by Jim Brathwaite, SEEDA Chairman, Pam Alexander, SEEDA Chief Executive, Iain Wright MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Jonathan Shaw MP, Regional Minister for the South East.

Peter Damesick, Head of UK Research and Consulting at CB Richard Ellis gave an outlook on the South East Property Market. Key issues facing development beyond the crunch were outlined by Jeremy Freeman, Senior Director Regeneration & Development, CB Richard Ellis, Paul Carter, Leader Kent County Council, John Stewart from the Home Builders Federation and Phil Jenkins, Royal Bank of Canada.

Sarah Whitney, Managing Director Regeneration & Development, CB Richard Ellis and Richard Klawiter, partner, DLA Piper, Chicago led on bringing the audience up to date on the work and emerging recommendations of the study.

Jonathan Shaw MP gave an address to the region focusing on the effect of the recession on the economy of the South East and spoke about the impact and challenges now facing businesses and families across the South East before the delegates engaged in an afternoon of round table debates to develop a regional response to the emerging findings and recommendations of the study. The outcomes of the delegates’ debates will now be taken forward into the final report and practical recommendations of the major regional study to be published in May.

For more information, contact:

Roy Sutherwood, SEEDA Communications
Tel: 01483 470 155
Email: pressoffice@seeda.co.uk

James Fulker, SEEDA Press Officer
Tel: 01483 470 155
Email: pressoffice@seeda.co.uk

For more information please contact our press office

Tel: 01483 470155