Last updated 12 September 2023

David Bemrose, Head of Account Strategy for Local Government, explains how CCS uses its national buying power to make it easier for local authorities to invest in local communities.

Regeneration and placemaking are crucial aspects of economic development. It usually involves civic projects intended to promote economic growth and improve the quality of life, typically requiring substantial investment in capital and infrastructure in the local area. 

Regeneration projects vary and can be as diverse as the creation of new leisure and tourist facilities, the redevelopment of retail space, the creation of new business premises, and, often, a combination of multiple overlapping and inter-related projects. 

Placemaking is the collaborative process of designing and shaping public spaces to create places that people feel connected to and promote social interaction, well-being, and a sense of belonging. It involves engaging with local communities, stakeholders, and experts to understand their needs and aspirations and then transforming community spaces accordingly.

Placemaking and urban regeneration

Delivering regeneration and placemaking activity requires access to resources, procurement expertise, working with other organisations, and using commercial routes to market where local authorities may lack the necessary experience and expertise.

By combining practical placemaking principles with well-executed regeneration procurement, urban development projects in the UK can create sustainable, inclusive, and thriving communities that meet the needs of residents and contribute to the overall well-being of the area. 

Factors to consider when designing these projects include:

1. Community engagement

Involving the local community in planning and decision-making is usually a statutory requirement. Encourage participation through workshops, surveys, public meetings, and other engagement activities to gather residents’ and stakeholders’ ideas, preferences, and concerns.

2. Design and activation

Emphasise thoughtful design that considers the unique characteristics of a place, its history, culture, and local context. This approach aims to activate spaces by including amenities, green areas, public art, cultural facilities, and other elements that encourage people to spend time and engage with the environment.

3. Mixed-use development

Placemaking often promotes mixed-use development, integrating residential, commercial, and recreational spaces within a compact, walkable area. A mixed-use model allows you to create a sense of vitality, 24-hour activity, and diversity, making the place more appealing and functional.

4. Sustainability

Embracing sustainable principles, such as green infrastructure, energy efficiency, waste management, and sustainable transportation options, helps to create environmentally friendly and resilient places that help mitigate climate change and enhance the overall quality of life.

Supporting local authority regeneration projects

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) plays an important role in helping the UK public sector save money when buying common goods and services. We are the biggest public procurement organisation in the UK. Our commercial expertise helps buyers across local government and the wider public sector on a range of issues, including urban regeneration.

Renewing and reshaping localities to make them more attractive places to live, work, and visit is a high priority for local authorities. Our solutions are helping Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council to reinvent and reinvigorate the Nuneaton town centre completely. Their regeneration programme features the Grayson Place project, an exciting new meeting, eating, drinking, and entertainment destination currently under construction. 

Helping local authorities meet sustainability targets

Local authorities have significant influence over the key sectors of energy, housing, and transport, reform of which will be essential to achieving net zero. Regeneration activity has to be mindful of the requirement for our local places to support the transition to carbon net zero (CNZ), whether installing roadside electric vehicle charging points or using technology to support the delivery of services.

Our commercial agreements include procuring everything from decarbonising property, using innovative technology to develop clean air and low emissions zones to electric vehicle charging. For example, we recently helped Bristol City Council meet legal limits for pollution.

Using our Traffic Technology and Associated Services agreement, Bristol will install cameras for number plate recognition and identification of bus lane infringements, complete with an on-site maintenance package and a back-office data management system. The solution will also impact traffic signal timings to improve traffic flows and increase bus priority at traffic signals.

Regeneration procurement – not sure where to start?

Smart procurement involves selecting and contracting suppliers, contractors, consultants, and other stakeholders to supply the goods and services required to implement regeneration initiatives effectively. We have a range of dynamic solutions to help local authorities deliver a variety of regeneration projects, optimise budgets, and meet key policy reforms.

We offer a number of comprehensive end-to-end commercial agreements to meet your needs, from off-the-shelf options to more advanced and bespoke solutions to consulting and market insight services. So, whether you are delivering against relevant government policy agendas or helping the local economy thrive by reviving the town centre, we can help.

Not sure where to start? Our commercial agreements are designed to support you at every stage of your regeneration journey, including project development, public engagement, and project delivery.

Access to funding to support regeneration

Local authorities are under extreme pressure to make their budgets work harder. We focus on saving you time and money, allowing you to get on with what matters most by providing the best possible outcomes for your local communities. CCS will support you throughout the buying process to ensure you maximise every pound spent.

Grant funds are also available for regeneration projects with sustainability aims. We have worked to collate a list of open CNZ grants and funding opportunities from across the government into a single place. You can find out more on our website.

However, sometimes there is a need for additional sources of finance to complete projects or deliver additional complementary elements. Our Asset Finance solution is an industry-leading twin-agreement solution providing a revolutionary way for public sector customers to source funding for their projects. 

The solution involves a diverse range of lenders competing on customer projects through our leasing and loan Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), ensuring a transparent and genuinely competitive cost of financing. If you want to understand more about our Asset Finance solution, you can find out more by visiting our finance and funding options webpage.

Discover more

From sourcing funding to project delivery, we can help take the pressure off. To learn more about Regeneration and Placemaking, visit our Regeneration and Placemaking page.

Visit our social value webpage to learn more about how we can support your organisations social value goals.

You can find more resources about our work to support local authorities on our website. To speak to a member of our expert team, please call us on 0345 410 2222.