The annual retail property gathering will once again take place at Manchester Central
The annual retail property gathering will once again take place at Manchester Central

BCSC 2016 to be held in Manchester

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

BCSC is set to return to Manchester next year, with a new strategy and potentially a new name, according to John Coyne, chief executive of the retail property organisation.

Speaking to Place North West at the end of his first conference since taking over from Michael Green as chief executive three months ago, Coyne was enthusiastic about the success of the event and ambitious about his plans for the future of BCSC.

“The conference has been hugely rewarding and exciting. It’s clearly good to be back in Manchester and has proved that it’s good to be regional. Over the two days we estimate that BCSC has brought around £3m into the Manchester economy, and there’s clearly a lot of other regional cities which could benefit from that,” he said.

“Michael’s departure was a good opportunity for the board to assess the direction of BCSC. We’re currently coming to the end of a strategic review, which will form our plans for the organisation for the next 20 years. Clearly the industry has changed so much since our formation, and the body has possibly taking forty winks at times and has not kept up to speed as it should.

“BCSC needs to lead our sector, representing and at times defending, and the good news that our sector has needs to be front and centre.”

Part of Coyne’s plan for BCSC includes a review of the organisation’s position within in the industry, and how the brand reflects the work that it does as it moves away from being purely a voice for shopping centre owners and occupiers.

“The first thing we need to do is reflect our industry. The current brand name and identity just isn’t reflecting that anymore. The review is ongoing, and will reveal our five year strategy and goals, and also the areas we should withdraw from,” Coyne said.

“Our industry has changed beyond all recognition. At our inception the concept of the North American mall was hitting the UK and making a big impact. That has now all changed, and how shopping centres and town centres are interacted with has changed.”

Following the results of the review, any changes to the BCSC name and brand should be announced by early 2016 at the latest, said Coyne.

“The goal of the review is to ensure as an organisation we really get up there and punch this industry’s weight. We need to make a bang.”

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