Sunday, 11 April, 2021

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, 11 April 

Partnership and supporting the recovery 

Belated Easter greetings everyone and happy new financial year. This week’s newsletter looks forward to the new year by celebrating our most recent appointments. We also reflect on how our partnerships have survived the test of COVID and are in fact thriving, as we find ourselves at the side of many town and city leaders co-designing and delivering their recovery plans.

We are leading the design of a new City & Municipal Delivery Team for Birmingham City Council. Having advised the leadership since September 2020, the Council has adopted the Investing in our Future Strategy, central to which is a more activist approach to the municipal-led delivery of inclusive growth and accelerating their decarbonisation journey, ‘the Route to Zero’. We are helping in a number of areas: curating a portfolio of sites into a 10-year deliver plan; a portfolio-level business case to explore the optimal delivery approach; and designing the operating model. Our senior team is also helping accelerate the ‘Route to Zero’ by proving project leadership as the new in-house team is built into the new operating model throughout the rest of this year.

We are appointed alongside Arcadis to Bristol’s seven-year Capital Project Delivery Framework. This is the second major partnership portfolio we have with Arcadis. Together, we are already the Framework Supplier to Cornwall Council for all Development Management Services. We’re looking forward to 2021 and taking on the truly transformational programmes in one of the UK’s most forward-thinking cities.

Cornwall’s Pydar Street urban regeneration scheme. We have had our contract extended to deliver the next stage of development management services, which also includes deftly navigating through the political transition in May. Having secured investment, we are focusing on early preparation works and detailed design in readiness for delivery. We are also leading the Pydar Street brand and place marketing strategy to help boost the regenerative effects across the whole town.

North Somerset Sovereign Centre, Weston-Super-Mare. Having successfully led the preliminary stage of work and business case development for funding the creative reuse of the seafront Sovereign Centre soon to be home to the super cool Weston General Stores multi-space. We have been appointed to lead the design, permission, and construction phase of this centrepiece of modern experience economy, space for new ways of working, and a flagship model for community wealth building in the town.

External Funding Toolkit for North Somerset Council. The Council has missed out on recent opportunities to leverage investment from the Towns Fund and the LEP’s funding programmes at a strategic scale. We are appointed to develop an investment playbook that will highlight the scale of the opportunity within North Somerset and position the Council to attract investment from public, private and institutional investors.

Delivery Director for Low Hall Depot in Waltham Forest. Having helped deliver their flagship Town Hall Campus programme and award winning EMD Cinema refurbishment, we are now helping this nationally recognised London local authority to navigate the catalysing Low Hall Depot project through to the appointment of a Development Partner. The scheme is capitalising on the movement to create better neighbourhoods by incorporating principles of the 15-minute neighbourhood into a new world-class green depot facility in the Upper Lea Valley.

River Lea Bridges business case, London Borough of Newham and Tower Hamlets. Having produced the business case that secured Treasury investment in four new bridges crossing the River Lea, our work has been extended to analyse the case for 11 new bridges in total. The physical infrastructure is the latest step in delivering high quality growth and a lasting legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games.


The principles of strong partnerships

We are grateful that these clients, who are leaders in their field, keep coming back to Inner Circle for strategic advice and delivery partnerships. Here are eight reasons we have great partnership, based on combination of recent client feedback and self-reflection:

  1. Our clients like our senior, experienced team. We have walked a mile in their shoes. We know the nature of local government sector decision-making and the approaches that secure decisions. We’ve worked at senior levels in Government and private developers, so we can bring the cultures together around delivery priorities.
  2. Our clients need us to be responsive and adaptable. We understand during the early stages of a project that priorities can change. Through the involvement of our senior leaders, we always adapt quickly and target the resources where they are most needed.
  3. Our clients trust that we have what it takes to develop and deliver transformational portfolios. Our team has worked with public service leaders and Blue Chip developers all over the country to implement successful strategies for regeneration.
  4. We immerse ourselves in the place and the organisation. We make it our business to know and love the patch. We work from strategy down into delivery applying ourselves wherever we’re adding value.
  5. We bring the back-end delivery realities to the front-end strategy. We deliver construction projects(giving over a set of keys at the end) and have worked with the private sector, we know the downstream opportunities risks and issues of any strategy.
  6. We have a track record of helping local authorities secure investment. From billion-pound joint ventures, future high street fund, to multimillion pound accelerated housing delivery deals with Home England.
  7. Our clients appreciate that we openly share our intellectual property and knowledge rather than hiding it. For example, we’ve openly shared our ideas on town centre recovery and action-ready policies that will help strengthen the resilience and overall position of local high streets.
  8. We are multipliers. We work to leverage all possible resources and work to help everyone succeed, whether that’s internal staff, sub-consultants or any other stakeholder that is acting in the public interests and helping achieve the goals of each place.


To keep on your radar

The pandemic has shown us that high-impact events may feature on risk registers but rarely feature a robust mitigation. How many risk registers are recognising climate change? Are these risks being taken seriously? Over 300 local authorities have declared a climate emergency but only the ones with progressive vision are looking for new policies and tools to deliver on their vision of a healthier, cleaner, and better environment for all. Meanwhile, new innovations are taking place to reduce waste, encourage recyclable materials, and eliminate single-use products, and reduce the stress of public services. What is the ‘route to zero’? And is that enough or should we be considering how we are depleting global resource and polluting the oceans with millions of tonnes of plastic?

On Thursday, 29 April, we’ll be exploring these questions during a great ICC x Solace session, featuring leaders from ReLondon and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and designed for public sector leaders to engage with people leading the thinking about the future of our major urban centres and sharing ideas we can all benefit from. Get in touch for more information or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to hear when registration opens.