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September 2020
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Triple appointment to Institute of Economic Development Board

Wakefield Council regeneration and economic growth expert appointed to IED Board

Tom Stannard, Corporate Director for Regeneration and Economic Growth at Wakefield Council, has joined the Institute of Economic Development (IED) Board of Directors.

In a career spanning over 20 years Tom has worked in a variety of economic development, regeneration and policy roles in high-performing councils including Oldham Council in Greater Manchester, Blackburn with Darwen and the London Boroughs. He is also a former Deputy CEO of the UK Learning and Work Institute.

Having moved to his current position at Wakefield in 2018, Tom oversees delivery of the Council’s 2018-23 economic strategy for successful business, people and place. He is responsible for regeneration and economic growth services, including economy and skills; planning, transport and highways; environmental services; property; and arts, culture and leisure.

Tom is a Chartered Surveyor, and is also a Board Director at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and Deputy National Spokesperson for Economic Prosperity and Housing for SOLACE.

Drawing on his experience, Tom said he was looking forward to sharing his skills with the IED Board and its membership. “I have been an IED member for a number of years and I am keen to see us take a lead role on key issues facing the profession – particularly the climate emergency, labour market issues, and championing sustainable equitable economic growth,” he explained. “I have also seen the Institute develop considerably during that time. In particular, the CPD has really improved and is now a really strong offer. I am keen to add to this further with a broader range of expertise, as well as support membership growth and peer support as I have with SOLACE.”

Tom’s appointment to the IED Board was confirmed in December 2019 after he was elected by his peers. He added: “My aspiration is for the IED to be the voice of practical economic development work on the ground, be assertive on our position nationally and be bold on policy changes which affect us, including planning and sustainability. We should not assume that we have all the answers and we do not have to be isolated in our thinking. There is strength in collaboration with organisations such as CLES, SOLACE and other strategic partners.”

IED Chair Bev Hurley said: “The Board are delighted to welcome Tom and we are sure that his expertise in economic development, regeneration and skills will be of great value to the IED and its members.”

Scottish Government economic development expert joins IED Board

Jon Pickstone, Deputy Director of Regional Economic Development at The Scottish Government, has been elected to the Board of the Institute of Economic Development (IED), the UK’s leading independent professional body for economic development and regeneration practitioners working for local and regional communities.

Jon leads the division of The Scottish Government responsible for place-based economic growth. This includes sponsoring Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise; setting up the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency; City Region and Growth Deals; Regional Economic Partnerships; Scotland’s Centre for Regional Inclusive Growth; Community Wealth Building; Enterprise Areas; and Urban Policy and the Scottish Cities Alliance.

He previously led The Scottish Government’s economic engagement in London, having also held roles at the Department for International Trade, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Homes and Communities Agency.

A Fellow of the IED, Jon said he was delighted to join the Institute’s Board of Directors. “I have been an IED member since 2010 and originally did so to gain professional accreditation,” he explained. “Over the years, I have got to know others in the Institute and now I want to contribute further. It is a great opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and, as the only UK body devoted to economic development, we have an opportunity to provide a well-rounded professional offer for a range of practitioners.”

Jon added that a collaborative approach, including with other professional bodies, was essential. “The IED provides a platform to converse on the major long-term questions facing economic development around business, community and place,” he said. “It can help to ensure wider understanding of best practice economic development in Scotland, and likewise support The Scottish Government’s own focus on driving sustainable inclusive growth. The IED’s ability to offer practical and bespoke training, as well as general knowledge-sharing, can only help us all.”

IED Chair Bev Hurley said: “The Board are delighted to welcome Jon and we are sure that his expertise in economic development and regeneration within private practice, government agency and Whitehall experience will be of great value to the Institute and its members.”

Cushman & Wakefield commercial property champion takes place on IED Board

Ben Pretty, a partner at leading global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, has taken up his place on the Institute of Economic Development (IED) Board of Directors after being formally co-opted in December 2019.

Ben, who is based in Cushman & Wakefield’s Leeds regional office, has over 15 years’ consultancy experience, largely advising public and private sector organisations on property development, infrastructure, regeneration and economic development projects. He is a Chartered Surveyor and works mainly in the field of regeneration and economic development.

His appointment as a Partner last year means that Ben leads much of Cushman & Wakefield’s economic development and growth-based work nationally. Through this role, Ben advises Local Enterprise Partnerships, Combined Authorities and Local Authorities and developers on the development and appraisal of business cases to secure public sector investment in infrastructure and property schemes with a focus on commercial, residential and mixed-use schemes. He is also involved in making the case for investment in a number of large-scale infrastructure schemes and is currently involved in the regeneration of town centres through to the delivery of major residential schemes.

Speaking about his appointment to the IED Board, Ben said that he was relishing the challenge. “I have been involved in economic development since 2007 and an awful lot has changed during this time,” he explained. “I have always wanted the opportunity to have an influence on change in our sector, rather than sitting back and responding to changes, so when the chance to join the Board came up it was something I was keen to pursue. I have been a member of the IED for 10 years – and I have seen the Institute become more and more influential over the years – so I am looking forward to supporting the next phase of its journey.”

Like many economic development and regeneration professionals, Ben initially joined the IED to gain professional accreditation but has noticed a step-change in its overall value to members. “The IED is definitely more recognised as a body and a collective group of core individuals now, with more influence and say, and that has benefitted members through the representation of our interests,” he said. “I am excited about supporting further proactive engagement with members, whether that is through thought leadership, CPD or something entirely different, and ultimately enhance the brand, profile and reach of the IED as the leading professional body in the field of economic development. I see that engagement expanding to public and private sector professionals working in property, transport and skills in the broadest sense, with economic growth at the heart of it.”

Ben said that the growth of private sector organisations in the IED’s membership meant that further representation of those businesses was required. “Historically the IED has been a public sector membership body, with few private sector members on the Board, but that has changed,” he explained. “The USP that I bring is a voice in the private sector world, especially in terms of bringing together the private sector property world with the traditionally more public sector-led agenda of economic development. Around 70% of my work is in the public sector, so I also understand that side of our membership, and I will bring my private sector commercial edge and experience to the Board.”

Whilst recognising the challenges facing the sector, Ben highlighted the need for further collaboration between public and private sector to address these. “Yes there is currently economic and political uncertainty, but there is a significant opportunity for the public sector to step up and work more with the private sector to deliver mutual goals and objectives,” he said. “I am keen to drive things forward and leverage public-private working and partnerships.”

IED Chair Bev Hurley said: “The Board are delighted to welcome Ben and we are sure that his consultancy experience across the public and private sector, and expertise in property development, infrastructure, regeneration and economic development, will be of great value to the Institute and its members.”

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