Future construction methods and understanding the power of clusters were just some of the topics covered at this year’s Regenerate North Hampshire and South West Surrey Conference.

It was the sixth time the Business South event had been held and the audience of public and private sector leaders meeting at the Village Hotel in Farnborough, was treated to a full morning of engaging content.

Hampshire County Council Leader, Councillor Rob Humby, got the show on the road. He explained his aim is to make Hampshire a great place to live, work, visit and play and stressed there were two-sides to prosperity.

“Economic prosperity and social prosperity are inextricably linked,” he said.

Left to Right: Andy Swift, Ed Hampson, Tim Mills, David Craddock, Catriona Riddell, Cllr Rob Humby, Natascha McIntyre-Hall and Leigh-Sara Timberlake.

Ed Hampson, Research Associate at Savills gave a market update and was followed on the stage by Zach Wilcox, City Economics and Planning Associate with Arup speaking about how the supply chain can enable and lead to change. He shared the following advice:

  • Take a step back
  • Understand your position in a changing world
  • Assess your risk appetite
  • Find new ways of working

David Craddock Founder and CEO, VerdeGO Group incorporating VerdeGO Timber Frame – Offsite Construction, offered a fascinating insight into the future of house building. He talked about the importance of curiosity and courage when it comes to building a successful business.

Catriona Riddell, Director, Catriona Riddell & Associates gave an update on the current planning landscape before Ian Metcalf, Managing Director, Critical Outcomes and Sue Littlemore, Joint MD, Enterprise M3 LEP gave their View from the Hill contributions.

Ian talked about his time working in Fairfax,West Virginia and drew parallels with the clusters that Hampshire has but does not shout about enough.

While Sue stressed the importance of partnership working and the obstacles that can be overcome when we work together.

Natascha McIntyre-Hall, Head of Regeneration at Gleeds, took the room on a canter through the metaverse to illustrate how this ground-breaking world might soon be the place where we are all doing business.

Matt Furniss from Surrey County Council stressed the importance of putting people first and elaborated on the healthy streets initiative being rolled out in Surrey.

Andy Swift, Business South Champion Director, said: “Once again the conference was well attended and the quality of our speakers was outstanding.

“They were able to articulate the scale of the challenges that we face but also leave us all in no doubt about the opportunities that we can all benefit from,” he said.