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Published on Wednesday 10 November 2021

A pioneering new placemaking company is driving forward a multi-billion-pound regeneration programme to make the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole city region world class – one of the best coastal places in which to live, work, invest and play.

BCP Council has launched FuturePlaces, a wholly owned urban regeneration company to spearhead the local authority’s Big Plan ambitions to deliver significant investment across the city region. It will play a key role in supporting the council’s commitment to create 13,000 jobs across all sectors of the economy and deliver 15,000 homes at the highest quality at all levels of affordability for local people.

An initial 14 regeneration sites with a gross development value of more than £2.8bn will be brought forward for investment by FuturePlaces. Sites include the south west’s largest brownfield regenerative site at Holes Bay.

Cllr Philip Broadhead, BCP Council’s Portfolio holder for Development, Growth and Regeneration, and Chairman of FuturePlaces, said:

"Building on the strengths of our world class environment and natural coastline, we are delighted to launch our pioneering urban regeneration company, FuturePlaces.

"We promised we would move at pace with our Big Plan ambitions and within six months of setting the council’s budget - earmarking an additional £1.75million to drive forward regeneration - we have brought in some of the UK’s leading talent in placemaking to create the capacity and skillset needed to drive a major regeneration programme.

"FuturePlaces has been created with the clear aim of supporting our vision for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to be a place where people and businesses want to be – because of the vibrancy of our communities, the strength of our economy, the skills of our people, the wealth of our culture and the quality of our infrastructure, our environment and quality of life.

"We are already starting to see the opportunities this is unlocking with work on the ground due to start next year at Carters Quay, a scheme which will deliver much needed homes for local people whilst seeing our promise to rejuvenate Poole take action.

"We are determined to deliver economically vibrant but affordable places in neighbourhoods where our families have good livelihoods, and where our communities have a sense of belonging. This means shifting from that exclusive focus of meeting housing numbers towards a qualitative target of delivering great places with homes and infrastructure that are beneficial and healthy for our local communities and the environment.

"With FuturePlaces at the helm we are giving confidence to the investment market, and certainty to our local communities that they will be at the heart of positive and sustainable regeneration."

FuturePlaces is already positioning Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole as one of the first local authority areas to adopt a stewardship approach, a model identified in the Government’s Building Better Building Beautiful Commission - an independent body that advised the government on how to promote and increase the use of high-quality design for new build homes and neighbourhoods.

Leading the FuturePlaces venture is Managing Director, Gail Mayhew, co-founder of The Stewardship Initiative, and specialist in placemaking and Commissioner on the Government’s Building Better Building Beautiful Commission.

Gail Mayhew, Managing Director of FuturePlaces said:

"FuturePlaces is committed to delivering development that is of the highest quality that respects and recognises the value of a place and its local communities.

"Like many UK local authority areas, the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole conurbation has faced challenges with stalled regeneration sites and proposals that often fail to meet the quality needed to secure the potential of the amazing natural coastal asset.

"By adopting a stewardship approach we will engage stakeholders with a longer-term interest in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, funding infrastructure and placemaking works with longer term patient capital, to secure better outcomes for local people.

"We will undertake comprehensive consultation and engagement throughout the design and development process for each scheme from inception through to completion, ensuring we translate the needs and wants of local communities into strong regeneration plans to deliver high quality placemaking.

"We are committed to delivering meaningful places that benefit both communities and businesses and generate value for everyone now and into the future. Better places mean better quality of life, more businesses and sustainable economic growth. It’s Levelling Up in the widest sense and that’s at the centre of our plans for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole."

FuturePlaces will work closely in partnership with a client team within the council to ensure that its approach to regenerating sites responds to the goals set out in the Big Plan and the council’s corporate strategy. BCP Council will provide oversight and governance of FuturePlaces with decision making for site developments remaining with the local authority.

Initially, FuturePlaces will focus on the following targeted schemes:

  • Beach Road car park
  • Bournemouth International Centre/ Bournemouth ARC
  • Winter Gardens
  • Boscombe
  • Poole Old Town & Quay
  • Christchurch Civic Centre
  • Heart of Poole
  • Carters Quay
  • Poole Civic Centre
  • Turlin Moor
  • Wessex Fields
  • Port of Poole
  • Constitution Hill
  • Extra Care Village
  • Cotlands Road

As proposals for individual sites evolve, FuturePlaces will engage with local communities and stakeholders through a variety of consultation and engagement techniques.

Public consultation and engagement on the future of Holes Bay is due to start early next year.

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