Does BCP Really Offer The Best Blend Of City And Nature? With Philip Broadhead

6 Apr 2022
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Does BCP Really Offer The Best Blend Of City And Nature? With Philip Broadhead

Does BCP Really Offer The Best Blend Of City And Nature? With Philip Broadhead

Nella Pang is joined by Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader of BCP Council and Chairman of Future Places for the 9th episode of Let’s Talk South Coast Season 1.

Nella and Philip discuss the merger between Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, the key takeaways from MIPIM, and how BCP is tackling climate change and the evolution of high streets. In this episode they touch on what BCP has to offer investors and what the opportunities there are for development.

The key insight from this episode is that people want a blend of city and nature, and BCP offers people the best of both worlds.

Key Insights From This Episode: 

  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) have huge operational efficiencies and are singing with a voice that will hopefully be recognised and bring that investment. – Philip 
  • By Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole pulling together, they are stronger with one voice. – Nella
  • South Central is an economic geography that really hasn’t had a voice until fairly recently. – Philip
  • With the global pandemic, investors are having to reassess how they invest because it’s no longer about just central London, it’s about the wider region and looking for those opportunities. – Nella 
  • People want the best of both worlds. They want accessibility to all the things that they enjoy about cities and museums, theatres, culture, but also they’ve rediscovered nature, the natural environment and the delicate work-life balance. – Philip
  • Dorset is the UK’s top area for the high growth digital businesses, second fastest growing area for startups and the third largest financial sector. – Nella 
  • Councils and local authorities haven’t been very good in the past in talking to business in a way the business understands. – Philip
  • It’s not good enough to just talk

About Our Guests:

Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader of BCP Council, Chairman of Future Places.

Philip is an experienced professional in the property and political sectors, holding a number of national, high-profile roles. In addition to his political positions, he is also a sought-after Board Director and Chairman with over 15 Non-Exec and Board Director roles, and has his own consultancy business specialising in the property and medical professions.

A Warwick University graduate, Philip forged his career in the property and development industry in prime central London, based in Notting Hill and then South Kensington & Chelsea.

With over 15 years’ experience in both the residential and commercial property sectors, Philip has particular expertise in residential new developments, having been involved and overseeing developments in some of the country’s hotspots, with GDVs in excess of £150m. Building on that professional background, he has become a respected voice in major regeneration projects, and is the founding Chairman of FuturePlaces, a municipally-owned urban regeneration company with a development pipeline of around £3bn. FuturePlaces is gathering international recognition as one of the first URCs to embed Stewardship Principles into its operation, and employs some of the most talented individuals in the development industry. Philip has also chaired an Asset Investment Fund with a spending power of over £250m, and serves as Board Chairman for several property companies.

In politics, Philip’s political career sees him serve in a number of high profile positions, both in Local Government and nationally.

On the south coast, he serves as the Deputy Leader of BCP Council, with responsibility of Development, Growth and Regeneration. He served in similar roles in the preceding Bournemouth Council.

His role gives him responsibility for the economy, regeneration, development, investment, capital delivery and planning services in the Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole city region, which is a growing urban area of around ½ million people. He also oversaw the shared service and government reform agenda for Bournemouth & South East Dorset prior to the new Council being created.

Nationally, he also holds a number of key roles in national politics. He is the elected Chairman of the Conservative Councillors’ Association, serving as the voice of the country’s 7500 Conservative Councillors. He is also the Deputy Chairman of the Key Cities group, and is a Board Member for the Local Government Association in Westminster.

In 2017, Philip was selected by the Conservative Party as one of their “Next Generation of Leaders”.


[01:50] How has the merger been between BCP, and can you share with us what have been the benefits of bringing authorities under one umbrella?

  • There were 2 aims; first was purely operational benefits and second was aspirational in order to recognise the true potential. 

[04:50] You’ve just got back from MIPIM along with the key partners to promote this south central. So how was it? What were the key takeaways from the experience? 

  • MIPIM is the property event of the whole world, it is the place to talk to partners, secure investment and put yourself on the map. 
  • I got to represent the UK as well as the central south powerhouse and had 48 meetings in 3 days. 
  • I have been in talks with Homes England for quite some time. 
  • Urban Regeneration Company – It’s one of the largest municipally-owned regeneration arms in the country, but doing things really differently.

[08:40} At MIPIM, you sat on the panel, Future of the UK Cities. Can you share the key insights from that conversation? 

  • I’m the deputy chair of the Key Cities Group and we represent about 25 of the midsize cities in the UK.
  • What is happening is that there is a little bit of a shift away from those core cities, particularly your Londons and Manchesters, for people feeling like they have to base their life around there. 
  • People want the best of both worlds, they want accessibility to all the things that they enjoy about cities and museums, theatres, culture but also they have rediscovered nature, the natural environment and the delicate work-life balance.

[13:40] What is BCP doing to attract occupiers into the region? 

  • Don’t underestimate the work-life balance.
  • Making sure the infrastructure is right.
  • Setting the vision for how the region should be, where we are going and how we can offer support. 

[17:40] Where are the opportunities for development?

  • All of the things that we’ve talked about in our vision, you can embed within the local plan into the planning policy. 
  • We’ve just finished the second of our pre-local plan consultation.
  • We need to do a tremendous amount of listening before we even start on those plans. 

[22:25] What is BCP doing to tackle climate change?

  • It’s tricky for local authorities because we don’t have huge budgets and yet we are expected to lead from the front.
  • The action that we’ve taken has been singularly focused on bang for the buck.
  • Green Futures Fund – £20 million pounds for capital spend projects in the climate change arena.
  • Within the next two years councils need to start looking at how every single development that comes forward has to increase biodiversity by 10%. 

[25:35] Can businesses apply for these grants to support on achieving the climate objectives?

  • If you go too hard on the climate risk with restrictions on buildings, you’ll stop homes being built. 
  • The Green Futures Fund and subsequent investments have got to be hand in hand with local industry.

[28:45] Can you tell us more about the BCP high streets, district centre strategy and the Poole high street heritage action zone?

  • There are so many different answers to the same question.
  • Traditional chain based retail has almost disappeared through the pandemic and core high streets are reinventing themselves.
  • We’ve picked three district pilot areas to give interventions so that we can make that really help unleash their potential.
  • In major high streets, we’re going for an industry led approach.

[34:05] Quickfire Questions

1.Who are the movers and shakers of our region? 

    • Anybody that’s interested in a particular sector should follow the major bodies that are doing the work in their industry. 
    • Hospitality = BAHA
    • Construction = Dorset Construction Cluster
    • Skills Commission

2. What is the best thing you say living in Bournemouth? 

      • The work-life balance
      • Aspiration to make ourselves the wellbeing capital of the UK. 

3. Do you live by a mantra or do you have a favourite saying? 

        • Never say “no”, but say “yes, but…”


Companies Mentioned:

Shout Outs:

About Our Host

Nella Pang

I left the corporate world in 2020 and launched Omega RE a commercial advisory firm in a pandemic, whilst on maternity. Brave some people would say. 🚀

The pandemic has taught many of us a thing or two, particularly on how we can do business. I support businesses to navigate the complexities of Commercial Real Estate, so they can achieve their business objectives through their Real Estate decisions.

Lease negotiations can be a minefield. Even small mistakes can drive up costs. That’s why I will represent your interests every step of the way, ensuring you receive full value of our experience and market knowledge.

With over 18 years’ experience in the Commercial Property Market having worked for the big corporates Jones Lang LaSalle Limited, BNP Paribas Real Estate and Vail Williams.

I want to be able to share my corporate knowledge with my clients, whilst offering a more personal dedicated commercial advisory service.

Having acted for a wide range of clients from major pension funds to private investors, small businesses and individuals. I love meeting people and I am passionate about adding value to my clients business and watching their business thrive.

About Omega RE

Omega RE is commercial property advisory firm based on the South Coast. Providing expert advice to Landlords, Occupiers in the industrial, office and retail markets.

Omega RE is always thinking ‘Outside the Box’ in our advice to clients and the way we do business. We don’t settle for mediocre, we challenge the norm and are dedicated to finding solutions that is best for our clients.

We are a people business, based on strong relationships and partnerships, and we offer a personal level of service.

As the market evolves, we will too adapt to be successful and want the same for our clients. We are committed to finding innovative ways of marketing and how to do things more efficiently.

We will never stagnate.

We are disciplined in everything we do, we take time to understand the situation and set a bespoke strategy for each client. Not one size fits all. We do not cut corners or take short cuts and our integrity is undisputed.

Providing clients’ a hands on approach to finding the perfect property; office, industrial, warehouse or retail space to meet business needs and negotiating the best commercial lease terms, is what we do best.

We come to work because we’re passionate about providing expert, innovative, independent advice to clients. We want to help businesses navigate the complexities of Commercial Real Estate.

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