This half-day conference will examine the challenges and opportunities facing towns and places away from big cities – the so-called ‘left-behind’ places – and the policies needed to inspire renewal.

There are a range of excellent speakers, including several who have led successful renewal efforts turning trailing towns into turnaround towns.  The conference will also fill a policy vacuum at the centre of the overall regeneration and renewal debate: while government and opposition recognise that deep-seated issues need addressing, solutions are often elusive. 

There’s a huge policy vacuum, and a skewed funding formula for housing and transport which works against the north.

During part of the conference, we will also partly address the new North of Tyne authority and ask whether it will use its powers to address challenges, and opportunities, in its towns and communities with specific place-based measures.


12.00: Buffet lunch

12.25: Welcome from Newcastle University: Professor Jane Robinson, Dean of Engagement & Place

12.30: Context for the event: chair Peter Hetherington, past chair TCPA

12.35: Lisa Nandy MP: founder Centre for Towns + questions

13.05: Fiona Howie, Chief Executive TCPA: a higher priority for renewal

13.20: Professor Andy Pike, CURDS: has ‘city centrism’ had its day?

13.35: Carol Matthews, Chair Homes for the North: new deal for North housing?


14:20 Panel discussion + questions: Jennifer Wallace, interim Chief Executive Carnegie UK Trust; Tom Johnston, Chief Executive The Glendale Community Trust; Julia Aston, Chief Executive, Amble Community Development Trust; Professor Mark Shucksmith, Newcastle University. Questions

15.05 Professor Liz Todd, Newcastle University: educational challenges for the North of Tyne

15.15: Rob Hamilton, head of investment and economic growth, North of Tyne Combined Authority: lessons in smarter growth?

15.35: Philip Dyer: northern ‘power towns’, a practical way forward?

15.45: Professor Danny Mackinnon, director of CURDS: a new agenda for the north?

16.00: close

This event is free to attend and includes a light lunch.

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