The mayoral development corporation has hired three high-profile directors, including past RICS president Louise Brooke-Smith, to join its board as it progresses large-scale regeneration projects in the town.
Brooke-Smith, Debbie Francis and Simon Marshall are to join Lord Bob Kerslake, chair of Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation, and senior leaders from Stockport Council, Homes England, and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority in delivering the next phase of growth for the Greater Manchester town.
Brooke-Smith is a nationally recognised expert on planning and development who served as president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors from 2014-2015 and is a former partner and national lead on strategic planning at advisory firm Arcadis. She joined Arcadis after selling her own planning consultancy to the firm in 2017.
She has had extensive experience of delivering regeneration projects with public and private sector partners.
Brooke-Smith said: “I am delighted to be joining the MDC at this critical time when a collaborative approach to regeneration is fundamental to success. It takes vision, energy and a can-do attitude to bring about change and I’m looking forward to working with [Greater Manchester Mayor] Andy Burnham, Lord Kerslake, the board and wider team at Stockport to see the renaissance of this significant area.”
Debbie Francis also works for Arcadis, where she has recently been appointed city executive for the North of England. A transport sector professional, she was managing director of transport solutions and logistics firm Direct Rail Services for four years until February and continues to serve a non-executive director.
She has also held senior roles at Enterprise Managed Services and Network Rail, and has significant experience managing large-scale infrastructure projects in the region.
Francis said: “I love the North and believe passionately that any regeneration must be for everyone and not exclude anyone.
“The plans for the regeneration of Stockport Town Centre West are exciting and inclusive and I feel honoured to be able to play a part in this.”
Simon Marshall, a former joint chief executive of global developer Scarborough Group for seven years, joins the MDC from his current role as a strategic advisor to fund manager Legal & General Capital.
Before joining Scarborough in 2012, he was a senior executive of specialist investment firm Beaubridge. He has extensive experience of development finance and investment structures, and delivering residential developments in the North West.
He is expected to provide Stockport MDC with “the senior strategic leadership on investment that it needs as it scales-up its delivery ambition over the coming years”, a statement from the MDC said.
Marshall added: “This is an exciting time for Stockport and I am delighted to be joining the MDC to help drive forward the town centre regeneration.
“I am very much looking forward to working with my fellow board members, the executive team and the council leaders to ensure that Stockport realises its undoubted potential.”
Stockport MDC was formed just over one year ago and is working with developers including Capital & Centric, CityRise and Investar on town centre schemes. It is also preparing a £550m Infrastructure Delivery Plan, focussing on a 12-year revamp of Stockport train station, among other major schemes.