At the Beaufort Capital Breakfast Seminar on unlocking investment opportunities in the regions, the keynote speaker and former minister for transport said that the drive to the regions was now becoming a reality.
“There’s a big difference, incidentally, between the regions and London, which I also think is somewhat overlooked, but to me – having had some experience in these towns and cities – is very real.
“In London, the general response of planners is ‘go away’.
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“There are many boroughs, I’m afraid … where the whole attitude to development is ‘do you really have to do this?’
“It’s a massive contrast with what you find when you go and talk to city planners in places like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds.”
Steve added that the great thing about going to the regions was that when you talked to the city politicians and officers, the reply was: “How can we help you?”
“Of course, there are rules – nobody expects there not to be rules – but that whole attitude that says: ‘Please come, we would love to have you’, I think is one of the major reasons that makes the regions these days much more attractive.”