MikeCowlam_nolabelMike Cowlam – Strategic Director Regeneration

As the Strategic Director for Regeneration, I would like to thank you for showing interest in the position of Assistant Director Estates and Property and Assistant Director Economy and Development. This is an exciting time to work in Bradford and confidence is growing in the City and District, following the outstanding success of The Broadway Shopping Centre, a positive Business Improvement District vote for Keighley and renewed interest from investors and developers. I look forward to considering your application and wish you every success in the interview process.

Department of Regeneration and Culture

The Department is large 1,700 staff and £85 million gross spend). It ranges from the provision of school meals (part time workers, low pay) to professionally trained officers delivering multi million pound projects. The service is high profile and frequently in the media.

Many of the councils positive stories are regeneration and culture based. The Department formally includes the following services:

  • Planning Transportation and Highways
  • Economic Development
  • Climate, Housing and property

However the department has two vacant AD positions covered by interim arrangements and the structure is being redesigned to support delivery of Services and meet financial targets. Employment and Skills has recently transferred to Children’s and Housing Strategy and Homelessness Services transferred to Adult services; Culture and Tourism has recently transferred into Environment and Sport. The Department is the lead on the New Deal priority: Better skills, more good jobs and a growing economy.

Read more about Regeneration – our purpose

SWOT Analysis

Strengths: Strong reputation locally; Producer City successful; growing development interest; Good transport work at regional and local level; High performing services, Planning regarded highly, Delivery focused (Westfield, City Park, Growth Zone, Buck Lane, Transport Strategy and delivering the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund).

Weaknesses: In some areas the property values are too low to stimulate development; internal traded services hit by recession; Lack of funding and control over funding, Bradford’s strengths are not always recognised at LCR. District underperforms on virtually every economic indicator with a low skill, low wage economy

Opportunities: Producer City Board – high level strategic business engagement, Public Service Hub, Catering and cleaning; Shared services and ADM’s; signs of economic recovery, momentum and confidence is growing from Westfield; role of the council to lead delivery; Stronger role at LCR. Transport needs are being recognised at City Region and National level (CalderValley line and Station masterplans)

Threats: Commercial pressures on internal traded services (ISG, Building Control etc.); Budget reductions limit growth potential and reduces capacity to respond to opportunity and continued delivery of priority projects;

Key focus areas

  • The need to strengthen our City region role and influence
  • Re-engage at Chief Executive level with business
  • Role on being Producer City
  • Raising the District’s profile nationally
  • Drive property and service partnerships (one public estate)

Key recent successes

The Broadway/Westfield
Largest new shopping Centre to open in the UK this year

Keighley Business Improvement District (BID)

City Centre Growth Zone – Business/Job Creation

Property Programme Board

  • Saved £5.1m in annual running costs
  • £50m reduction in backlog maintenance.
  • Reduced floor space occupation by 70,000m2 (52,000m2 delivered by this programme) equivalent to 6/7 full size football pitches.
  • Increased utilisation of the office accommodation in the city centre by 100% bringing an additional 3000 employees into the existing city centre estate.
  • Supporting regeneration and the local economy from staff being city centre based, increasing spend potential.

Digital Health Enterprise Zone (DHEZ) – joint scheme with the University