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PODCAST | Chris Oglesby: Creating cities that thrive

Comments (8)

The chief executive of Bruntwood, which has a £1bn investment portfolio across the UK, tells Lisa Morton, founder of Roland Dransfield, about the values, passion and drive it takes to build thriving cities including his hometown, Manchester.

The Manchester-headquartered PR agency launched the podcast series, ‘We Built This City’, in April. The agency was founded 24 years ago, and has earned a reputation since for its ‘human-first’ approach – choosing to interpret PR as ‘Purposeful Relationships’.

Now, it is using its extensive black book of relationships as the basis for We Built This City, as founder and chief executive Morton interviews ‘Mancunians born, bred and adopted’ about the legacies they have built and their impact on the city.

Guests have included Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham; DJ Clint Boon; Greater Manchester nighttime economy adviser Sacha Lord; footballer Gary Neville; Cold Feet actor John Thomson; athlete Diane Modahl, and more.

Listen to other episodes on the We Built This City podcast

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In many ways Bruntwood have put into Manchester (Circle Square etc) but at the same time, they’ve taken a lot away from the city by keeping some of the city’s ugliest and most economically ruinous buildings on life-support (by ‘refurbing’ them) when the area could have been completely transformed.

By Tyler

I wouldn’t be investing in cities anymore, everyone wants to move to the countryside and work from home

By Murray

Tyler – what about all the embodied construction / materials energy in existing buildings – it takes a lot to offset this in terms of overall environmental impact, even from more energy efficient new buildings!

By Re-use

Murray lots of people like living and working in cities.

By Monty

Good point ‘Re-use’, you’ve got to strike the right balance but not sure that Bruntwood have imo

By Tyler

Tyler – that makes no sense. If the buildings are let then they’re providing office space for companies to grow. These are companies that wouldn’t be able to afford brand new space. Bruntwood are smart and great at what they do.

By Officey

We refurbished this city

By Brunt

As a Manchester company Bruntwood have been innovative in their approach – re-purposing and new. In addition some of the most adventurous projects have developed and been realised to great effect through the Oglesby Foundation (Mike and Jean Oglesby), in particular their support of the arts and culture: Bridgewater Hall, Halle St Peter, RNCM,Christie and a million trees planted and so many more. Manchester is more than bricks and mortar – its hard work and passion that builds the buildings and then philanthropy that creates the glue that binds us together so often through music and education. Long may Bruntwood continue as a Manc company.

By caroline clegg