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TCPA Annual Conference 2022: Unpicking ‘levelling up’: what does it mean for place-making?

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24th November, 2022 : 10:30 am 4:00 pm

£90.00 – £360.00 Discounted tickets for TCPA members. Prices inclusive of VAT.

The Westminster Government published the Levelling Up White Paper in February 2022, arguing that levelling up is a ‘moral, social and economic programme for the whole of government’. The White Paper set out policy ‘missions’, which will require commitment and collaboration. The reform of the English planning system is set to be taken forward in the context of delivering this agenda, against a backdrop of unexpected political and economic instability.

This conference will consider what levelling up means for place-making and place-shaping; whether the proposed interventions are the right ones; and what action at national and local levels will be needed to achieve the missions regarding improving people’s health and wellbeing and increasing people’s pride in place. We will hear from a wide range of perspectives including from government, the private sector and local authorities.

Session 1: Levelling up – what does it mean?

This session will provide an overview and update of levelling up agenda; consider whether there are potential gaps; and whether further interventions might be required.

10:00Registration and networking
Tea and coffee available
10:30Welcome and introduction from the chair
Andrew Pritchard, Chair, TCPA
10:35Overview of the Levelling Up agenda and ongoing planning reforms
Joanna Averley, Chief Planner, Department of Levelling Up Housing & Communities
11:00A view on planning reform from the TCPA
Hugh Ellis, Policy Director, TCPA
11:20Delivering levelling up in practice – Stoke on Trent
Cllr Abi Brown, Leader, Stoke City Council
11:35Delivering levelling up in practice – Thamesmead
John Lewis, Executive Director Thamesmead, Peabody
11:50Q&A and Discussion
12:15Lunch and networking

Session 2: Pride in place

This session will focus on the levelling up mission around ‘pride in place’, which seeks to secure an increase in measures such as people’s satisfaction with their town centre and engagement in local culture and community. The mission aims to secure improvements in every area of the UK, with the gap between top performing and other areas closing. The session will consider what is already happening to engage people at the local level and what could further help achieve progress towards this mission.

13:15Welcome back from the chair
Catriona Riddell, Vice Chair, TCPA
13:20Panel: Pride in place – what does it mean and how do we achieve the mission?
Indy Johar, Executive Director, Dark Matter Labs

Jonathan Owen, National Association of Local Councils

Sarah Scannell, Assistant Director Planning, Birmingham City Council
14:05Engaging communities in place-making
Nicola Rochfort, Senior Community Engagement Manager, Grosvenor
14:30Tea, coffee and networking

Session 3: Health and well-being

This third and final session of the day will draw on the two health and wellbeing missions, which seek to narrow the gap in healthy life expectancy and improve wellbeing in every area of the UK. It will consider the importance of place in achieving those aspirations and explore what is already being done, and what more needs to be done to secure improvements.

15:00Welcome from the Chair
Andrew Pritchard, Chair, TCPA
15:05Why places matter to health
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England
Trina Lynskey, Chair of Deptford Folk parks group
• Lucy Carraz, Government Sector Lead – AECOM Buildings + Places, UK & Ireland
• Lourdes Madigasekera-Elliott, Public Health Strategic Lead: Creating Healthy Places, Public Health East Sussex
15:55Closing remarks


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The TCPA is grateful to Peabody, Grosvenor and AECOM for their support of this event.

Inner Circle, Regent’s Park
London, NW1 4NS United Kingdom
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Photo by Nathan J Hilton