BRE convenes Policy-makers and Building Experts in Manchester to Debate “Social Exclusion and Urban ‘Cold Spots.”

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BRE convenes Policy-makers and Senior Building Experts in Manchester to Debate “Social Exclusion and Urban Cold Spots.”

Senior policy-makers, building experts, academics, and commentators will gather in Manchester on 28th February, to debate how we can ensure that the housing and built environment meets the needs of the most vulnerable in society, are adequately catered for and to consider the changes needed in our current and future built environment strategies, to create long-lasting solutions for all.

The roundtable will also provide a forum for those assembled to discuss responses to the Government’s Industrial Strategy Grand Challenge for Clean Growth. One of the four pillars, the Clean Growth mission is to: “at least halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030.” For homes, this will mean halving the total use of energy compared to today’s standards for new build. This will include a building’s use of energy for heating and cooling and appliances.

Invited by Niall Trafford, CEO of BRE – the world’s leading building science centre, as part of a series of discussion events, Antony Lockley, Director of Strategy and Assistant Chief Executive at Blackpool Council, will offer the opening remarks before the conversation is opened up to the table to discuss “What Kind of a Britain are we Building?”

Niall Trafford said, “We know that we simply are not building enough new homes in the UK either in the public or private sector. Many buildings are not being built “to purpose” and many more are not performing as designed. Not only can bad housing be an underlying cause of poor health, education and personal development but it can also result in people being excluded from general service provision or more specialist support services.”

Rough sleeping is on the rise throughout the UK with the biggest regional increase in the North-West where numbers have almost doubled over the past two years and quadrupled since 2010. In Manchester (named by Deloitte earlier this year as one of Europe’s fastest growing cities[1]) the city’s economic strengths are not being converted into inclusive growth. Over 500,000 people are income deprived[2] and one in four children still live in poverty, according to the JRT (Joseph Roundtree Foundation). Despite, its own rules, in the last two years, none of the 14,667 homes[3] in large developments granted planning permission by the council’s planning committee are set to be “affordable.”

The key questions to be debated at the roundtable will include:

  1. What is the current relationship between the built environment and social exclusion?
  2. How can city regions make positive differences to social exclusion/ local area deprivation?
  3. What changes to the current housing stock are necessary – and how can than they be achieved?
  4. How can we ensure that the views of the most vulnerable are really being incorporated into the planning process?
  5. Does the current sustainability agenda adequately address the problems of social exclusion?

Niall Trafford will host and open the debate, which will be chaired under the Chatham House Rule by Matthew Gwyther, Partner, Jericho Chambers. Participating for BRE are Gwyn Roberts, Homes and Communities lead; and Simon Nicol, Director, Housing.

Key participants will include: David Rudlin, Director, URBED (Urbanism Environment and Design) Ltd; Joanne Holden, Sustainability Manager, Peel Land and Property Group; Neil McInroy, Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies; Shelagh McNerney, Head of Development, Salford City Council and David Roberts, Director, Igloo Regeneration.

BRE’s mission is to improve the built environment through research and knowledge generation. The company is hosting a series of invitation-only influencer roundtables around the UK. This is the third in the series. A podcast and summary of the first roundtable which was held in London,  can be found  here.

The roundtable, held in Edinburgh on 25 January 2019, was the second in the series.  Videos of interviews with several of those who attended are available to view and to publish below:

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For press information, to arrange interviews with the BRE roundtable participants or for additional comment please contact:

BRE’s press office on pressoffice@bregroup.com or +44 (0)1923 664455.

Notes to Editors

About BRE

BRE is the world’s leading building science centre. Our sustainability, safety and security services, the BRE Academy and our Innovation Centres, are used by our customers to deliver on their social, environmental and economic goals.

We are committed to developing knowledge on every aspect of the built environment and we set the standards for the way buildings, homes and communities are made to keep people safe, protect the environment, make buildings affordable and to create places where people want to live, work and play www.bregroup.com @BRE_Group

[1] https://www.buyassociation.co.uk/2018/02/16/manchester-named-one-europe-fastest-growing-cities/

[2] https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/inclusive-growth-greater-manchester-agenda-new-mayor

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/05/british-cities-developers-affordable-housing-manchester-sheffield