Sunday, 25 October, 2020


Jamie Ounan

We believe that the best solutions are yet to be discovered and the best outcomes yet to be delivered. That is why we prepare organisations for change and help them implement it. We do this through an intimate understanding of their business, a relentless focus on delivery, the use of techniques that challenge the status quo and bridge traditional disciplines. We provide a range of services to public and private organisations including project and programme management, property consultancy, change management and strategy development and strategic advice. Contact us to discuss a project.

Sunday, 25 October, 2020

A special edition by guest writer, Andrew Mistry



“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Most of us have heard this quote by Mahatma Gandhi and perhaps even been inspired by it. It’s a beautiful sentiment and one that reminds us how everyone has the power to make an impact. Over the last week, and indeed the last 6 months, we’ve been so inspired by the difference Marcus Rashford has made in highlighting the importance of free school meals for thousands of children across the country.

As we know, food insecurity disproportionately impacts black and minority pupils. Council’s play a vital role in supporting young children and it’s no surprise that local authorities from Liverpool to Wolverhampton to London have stepped up again and taken action to ensure children will continue to have nutritious food over half-term. We applaud these efforts and are incredibly grateful for the leadership the public sector has shown this year.


Local authorities continue to create lasting impact through renewed commitments to high-quality housing. It is a great injustice that black and minority communities have been disproportionately impacted by the transmission of the virus, which has been attributed to them being more likely to live in overcrowded accommodation and intergenerational households, and to experience poverty. The GLA’s Housing Delivery Recovery Plan sets out meaningful recommendations on delivering housing, such as unlocking small sites to create more affordable housing.


At Inner Circle, we believe that strategy is only as good as the delivery programme designed to implement it. Founding Director Chris Twigg recently spoke on a Solace panel with the Chief Executive’s of Shelter, the National Housing Federation, and South Gloucestershire Council on how to support local authorities and central government to deliver housing now. With a surge in funding announced from MHCLG, we know what it takes to turn housing plans into reality. Read more about our insights into accelerating delivery here and click here to learn how we recently helped Newham Council use AI-assisted technology to revamp their housing programme.



This past week, our teams have been busy implementing our Project Recovery and Delivery Improvement (PRDI) Model for local authorities looking to get their programmes back on track. Covid-19 has disrupted projects across the country and we’ve been working with our project partners to identify the catalysts of behavioural change, contractual and claims management, programme planning, and robust governance to help right the ship.


We champion partnership and collaboration to achieve impact and drive change. That’s why we’re pleased to see Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), Sport England, and ZCD Architects teaming up to create a free toolkit providing guidance on how to better engage young people in planning, regeneration and development. Tackling this issue of the planning system to engage young people head on, the Voice.Opportunity.Power toolkit is designed to help developers, designers, planners and sports providers improve participation in new development and regeneration. This type of tool can empower young people and communities of colour to have a greater opportunity to shape places.


If you’re anything like us, you’ve been devouring books and documentaries on some of these rainy evenings. Here’s a Black History Month-inspired book, podcast, and blog list to keep you inspired and focused on change:

  • Rice at Home Podcast: Even the name of the podcast should make you feel just a little comfort. Rice At Home is fronted by Ama, Travis, and Michael as they navigate black business and finance. With a sprinkling of current affairs, this helps you to see where you can go without forgetting or being tied down to where you came from. 
  • The Treatment by Michael Nath: Written in the style of a 17th-century revenge tragedy yet still timely, this tale grapples with terrorism, police corruption and masculinity. At a bus stop in South London, black teenager Eldine Matthews is murdered by a racist gang, in a plot that draws on the Stephen Lawrence’s murder. 20 years later, Eldine’s murder is still not forgotten.
  • BAME in Property: Founded by Priya Shah in December 2017, BAME in Property is an organisation for BAME and non-BAME professionals who are passionate about increasing ethnic diversity in the property and planning sectors. In their most recent blog post, Deborah Broomfield candidly shares the realities of being a Black woman in placemaking. Although Covid-19 has started an important conversation this year, she thinks we need to go further to create a truly inclusive industry.



We’ve recently published our insights from our Regeneration and Culture series, a five-part interactive webinar series delivered in partnership with The Voice of Authority and U+I, that explored the role that arts and culture must play in the recovery. You can read the full summary paper here and learn more about our experience delivering culture-led regeneration programmes here.


The Inner Circle studios will be active (and with social distancing measures in place) for a Netflix Watch Party this week to watch the moving series, Black Earth Rising starring Michaela Coel. For those who would like to hear more about our Black History Month programme, get in touch with Cheryl Bannerman-Swaniker.


For those on half term, we admire the creativity, ingenuity, and downright determination you’ve shown to keep children entertained. Pandemic disruptions and staycations have tested your mettle but the lessons you teach them on resilience and optimism will truly make a difference!