Homes England design specialist to take on Smith’s role

Manchester City Council has lined up Louise Wyman, director of Homes England and design lead at the West Midlands Combined Authority, to replace development director Eddie Smith.

Wyman is director of strategy and engagement at Homes England, currently based in the Midlands but set to relocate for the role.

Last year she was seconded to the West Midlands Combined Authority as director of design and development, to advise on the region’s economic growth and its impact on all communities.

At the time of the move, Sir Edward Lister, former chairman of Homes England, described Wyman as “an international expert in the design and development field.”

Wyman is a qualified landscape architect and chartered surveyor, and alumni of Harvard University’s School of Design. She also sits on the National Infrastructure Commission’s Design Group.

Wyman is due to replace Smith when he departs the council at the end of May. He had been due to leave at the end of March, however pushed back his exit date in order to support the council in its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Smith has been with Manchester City Council for more than 20 years and is a well-known figure across the city’s development world, advising on several significant projects. Smith has remained tight-lipped over what he will be working on once he leaves the council, however has insisted it will not involve projects in Manchester.

Wyman said: “Manchester is a progressive global city of cultural leaders, businesses, citizens and educators whose influence reaches well beyond the city boundary.

“In the moment of a global health crisis, civic leadership matters more than ever. The health and wellbeing of Manchester’s communities will be at the heart of our development plans. There’s so much talent in Manchester’s Universities, research institutions, businesses and creative industries.”

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “It goes without saying that this is one of the most demanding roles in local government, in one of the fastest growing and exciting cities in Europe. But Louise’s previous experience puts her in the upper echelons of strategic development in the UK.”

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