Rallying to restore confidence in construction

A national Rally to Restore Confidence took place last week to encourage professionals working across all platforms within the built environment that 2013 is a year for positivity.

fbe Birmingham Rally to Restore Confidence

Panellists, sponsors and members of fbe Birmingham’s committee at the Rally to Restore Confidence (back l-r) Guy Jackson, Urban Splash; Lance Taylor, Rider Levett Bucknall; Tony Bray, DfBIS; Sir Albert Bore – Birmingham City Council; Ruth Reed, RIBA and Rob Groves, Argent with (front l-r) David Smeeton, Colliers International; Edward Vernon, Lend Lease; Peter McHugh, fbe Birmingham chairman; Nick Wylie; Lauren Dennis and Simon Higginson (all Lend Lease)

Devised and hosted by fbe (forum for the built environment), the Rally to Restore Confidence is a national initiative which saw five co-ordinated events take place across the UK; resulting in a collective total of approximately 1000 representatives from property, development and construction  in attendance. The Birmingham Rally, held at the Council House, Birmingham welcomed over 180 of the city’s most influential property professionals for a panel debate and networking.

fbe Birmingham chairman, Peter McHugh introduced David Smeeton, head of Birmingham office, Colliers International to chair the panel. David was joined by panellists Sir Albert Bore, leader, Birmingham City Council; Lance Taylor, chief executive, Rider Lovett Bucknell; Ruth Reed, past president, RIBA; Rob Groves, director, Argent; Tony Bray, area director, Department for Business Innovation and Skills and Guy Jackson, director, Urban Splash.

Questions from the floor focused on where development will be seen within the city, availability of funding and the impact of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, which is a collaboration of the region’s business and public sector leaders led by Lord Michael Heseltine to kick-start Birmingham’s regeneration.

Paradise Circus

Paradise Circus

Whilst there was general acknowledgement that the local economy is still struggling as a result of difficulties in obtaining finance/funding, the consensus of opinion is that the city has an exciting and expansive development programme for the future. Opportunities for growth lie with the HS2 project and also the planned redevelopment of the Paradise Circus site in the heart of Birmingham.

Peter McHugh, fbe Birmingham chairman commented: “The Rally to Restore Confidence served as an excellent reminder of the expertise and experience we have in Birmingham, and the appetite to get construction moving again. With major regeneration earmarked for the city and its surrounding areas together with changes at local government level, we are committed to providing quality and sustainable development; ensuring the city remains a vibrant place to live and work. The response from our panellists and delegates was exceptional, demonstrating clarity of vision and a real passion to continue to work together to increase opportunities for all.”

The Birmingham Rally to Restore Confidence was sponsored by property and infrastructure specialists, Lend Lease. Other Rally’s took place in Bristol, Leicester, London and Manchester with events still to take place in Cambridge on 24th January and Glasgow on 6th February.