The fourth annual Regenerate North Hampshire and West Surrey Conference, sponsored by Willmott Dixon and Brymor Group, was held at the Holiday Inn Guildford on the 6th November.

The event showcased plans and strategies being developed to help promote the region, plus provided exciting opportunities to hear from business leaders on key infrastructure developments and market trends that will impact on the North Hampshire and West Surrey area.

In the conference’s unique ‘Meet the Site Owner Zone’ there was the opportunity for local authorities to showcase their key development sites to potential investors, developers, contractors and industry partners to help drive these forward. In addition the conference was a key platform for construction, property and development professionals to network and discuss opportunities.

Eminent industry professionals gave their insights into their ambitions for the region and the conference was opened by The Worshipful, the Mayor of Guildford Councillor Richard Billington and hosted by Andy Swift, Champion Director for Business South in North Hampshire and South West Surrey.

Our speakers included:

Tracey Coleman, Director of Planning and Regeneration at Guildford Borough Council, who briefed us on the success of the Guildford economy, and gave us updates on the delivery of the Council’s major development schemes.

Ray Morgan OBE, CEO of Woking Borough Council provided an update on the exciting transformation he is overseeing in Woking, including a changing skyline, plus how the town is being referred to both as an emerging mini city and a mini-Singapore.

Simon Eden a Director of the Southern Policy Centre delivered a session on how the Southern Policy Centre is helping shape the South Central Region that incorporates sea cities on the south coast, the green assets of the national parks and the economic strengths of businesses ranging up the M3 corridor into North Hampshire and West Surrey.

Giles Perkins who leads WSPs Future Mobility Team shared insights on the emerging world of future mobility and how this will impact on us individually and on our built environments.

Richard Valentine-Selsey & Alice Sewell from Savills provided Savills latest insights into the regional property market.

Tim Hancock the Managing Director of Terence O’Rourke and Chair of Business South’s Action Group Regeneration South closed the conference by telling us more about the work of Regeneration South, his vision for 2020 and beyond, and the exciting plans of the group to promote the South Central region at MIPIM Cannes 2020.

The conference was sponsored by Willmott Dixon and Brymor Group with exhibitors including Hampshire County Council, Guildford Borough Council, Surrey Heath Borough Council, Waverley Borough Council and Basingstoke and Deane District Council.

Michelle McKechnie from Willmott Dixon, and Chair of the Business South Regenerate North Hampshire and West Surrey Action Group who helped organise the conference, said ‘I was delighted with the conference and the support shown by the regional business community. I became the chair of the Business South Regenerate Action Group as I’m passionate about the challenges we face within the construction, property and development sectors and want to help the region shape its ambitions and plans for the future. My role sees me driving the ambitions of our group to support business across our region.

‘My vision is to establish a group that works collaboratively with the common purpose of raising the profile of the region, and helping to meet the ambitions set by developers, local authorities and businesses to generate continued success and growth.

‘We will start to plan our 2020 conference very soon and a date for diaries in the autumn will be announced shortly’.

Andrew Swift, Champion Director for Surrey and North Hampshire at Business South, said:

“This conference was a fantastic opportunity for business leaders to connect and discuss future business opportunities and we were grateful for the support of our sponsors and Champions Willmott Dixon and Brymor Group.

“The influence of Business South is only possible due to the high calibre of the businesses and partners we work with and conferences such as these enable us to showcase and celebrate engagement and collaboration at a regional level.”