Local authority, development company roundtable
by Dino Christodoulou
11/05/23Back to insights
At Tile Hill, we have always believed in the power of networks to help people achieve amazing things. We are confident in the benefits of bringing people together to share their experiences and harness their collective knowledge to help solve challenges. As the local authority-owned development company sector grows, we think it is vitally important that we create space for individuals to come together in a safe environment to create a united voice, learn from mistakes, and, more importantly, celebrate success.
With this in mind, last month we brought together CEOs and MDs of local authority-owned development companies from across the country to discuss the differing approaches to financing development and regeneration within these companies and their local authority shareholders. While the problem was tabled by one organisation, it became quickly clear that this was a common theme and challenge across those sub-sector.
The approach to funding major development schemes via local authority-owned development companies is complex in a stable economy, but in VUCA times with inflation also effecting the development and construction industries, the risk of getting these arrangements wrong is causing concern among shareholders, and interest rates have the potential to derail development viability. What became quickly apparent was that there was no quick and easy fix that would work homogenously across the companies present, as each had been established with different motives, different shareholder agreements, and was operating in different geographies.
What was equally apparent was the desire of those attending to share their own experiences, add their own professional views, and work collectively to solve problems. It reinforced the power of networks like this, and had time allowed, we could have moved on to other important topics, such as the challenges of becoming a registered provider. However, that was tabled alongside other topics for our next gathering.
Having conversations in forums like this can benefit the sector in many ways. It can provide comfort to people to know that they are not alone in what they are trying to achieve and that other organisations are also going through similar things or have done so previously. Sharing this knowledge can help shorten learning curves, provide additional view points, and ultimately drive better outcomes for local communities. Beyond this, it also gives the opportunity to celebrate achievements and ensure there is an independent voice on topics affecting local authority development companies. It helps shine a light on those who are delivering better results and shifts the conversation away from the minority of companies that have encountered problems. Something we are passionate about achieving at Tile Hill, which is why we are proud to sponsor the Direct Delivery Awards and Public Sector Impact Award at UK REiiF.
If you’d like to join this conversation and discuss other topics within the sector, you can find us at UKREiif, and we would be happy to share our plans for bringing this network together again in the future.