Genuine placemaking doesn’t happen without collaboration

Written by Phil Marsden, Managing Director North West Muse

Ahead of MIPIM 2024, Phil Marsden Managing Director - North West at Muse Developments explains how private sector partners and local authorities working in partnership can unlock all the benefits of regeneration.

The private sector can have an incredible impact on communities and local economies through placemaking. We can create jobs, deliver new homes, shops and restaurants and beautiful public spaces. We have the skills and expertise to deliver.

However, to be truly successful, we must work with our public sector partners. This includes local authorities, combined authorities, and government agencies such as Homes England.

Only by working in partnership can we unlock all the benefits of regeneration.

True placemaking needs a strong and coherent vision. In recent years, Manchester has developed a very clear strategy and vision – backed by strong leadership. This not only provides a clear framework within which the private sector can deliver, it also helps attract global investors.

It gives confidence that Manchester is open for business, welcomes investment, and has a plan.

Of course there are challenges. Viability remains an issue – especially in delivering low-energy, high-quality affordable housing outside of the city centre. We need to be able to deliver affordable homes to deal with the needs of the communities where we are working.

This, again, is where collaboration and partnership working can support delivery. We work with local partners to identify those challenges and find solutions. It involves close relationships with local authorities, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Homes England to deliver new places which might otherwise not happen but, when complete, deliver significant impact.

Take Greenhaus in Salford which is part of our Salford Central development being delivered in partnership with Salford City Council. Greenhaus is the largest Passivhaus-certified development in the North West. The 96 affordable homes will use 70-90% less energy that traditional homes. The homes will create a healthy environment for people to live with exceptional levels of air quality and helps residents reduce their bills and their carbon footprint.

Delivered by ECF, a partnership between Muse, Legal & General and Homes England, we partnered with Salix Homes to ensure all the new homes are available for affordable rent, or to buy. We look forward to delivering many more schemes like this.

A regeneration project like Salford Central would simply not have come forward in the same way, with the same benefits, without substantial collaboration between the public and private sector.

The result is an award-winning new place for the people of Salford and Greater Manchester. Collaboration works and makes things happen.

This year, MIPIM remains one of the world’s most important property forums. It presents opportunities to network with likeminded organisations from across the UK and the globe. As a collective, we have a clear ambition to secure investment in Greater Manchester.

Manchester is always successful in securing investment. We have a strong proposition and the fundamental assets which drive growth. We are connected, have exceptional universities, and a diverse, young population. Even better, we are home to two of the best football clubs in the world and have a world-famous diverse music and culture scene.

MIPIM is a place we demonstrate our partnership approach, and collaborative working, through the impact we have already had on our city and region. However, we never rest on our success – there is a lot more to come.

To learn more about Muse, visit their website.

To view the rest of the programme for the Manchester Stand, view our programme and follow live updates on X.