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Regeneration is key to unlocking the untapped growth

Regeneration is key to unlocking the untapped growth potential of cities across the UK, according to the CBI Director-General.

In a speech to the Birmingham Made Me design expo, John Cridland, CBI Director-General, outlined his vision of a new approach to regeneration which focuses on business growth and breaks the cycle of dependency on the public sector.

Speaking ahead of the Chancellor’s Spending Review later this month, Cridland said that regeneration must be built on strong partnerships between the public and private sectors.

Outlining the need for a new approach to regeneration, Cridland said: “We need to break the cycle of dependency on the public purse to bankroll building projects, and focus more on local business strengths, leveraging the clout of the public balance sheet as a confidence booster to drive investment.

“Businesses are changing and so must the properties they occupy. With our supply of quality office space diminishing and the need to dramatically speed-up house building, regeneration is a high priority for business leaders I speak to in cities across the UK.

“On the high street it’s a different story, with growing numbers of shops now lying empty. Businesses and local communities need to put their heads together to find solutions that will breathe new life into our town centres – not to recreate them as they once were, but to fashion them for the 21st century.

“The Government has helped to get the housing market moving with mortgage access initiatives, but we still need action on the supply side – we need shovels in the ground. Failure to build will see housing in our major cities become increasingly unaffordable. Communities without young people will not flourish, and the dreams of our young people for home ownership will be dashed.

“There is huge potential for our major cities outside London to contribute far more than they do already. But without regeneration they will continue to punch below their weight.”

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