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What will dominate headlines in 2023?

2022 was the year of a red-hot industrial sector, levelling up ambitions, and political turmoil. What will the news articles of 2023 revolve around? We asked industry leaders their thoughts.

Karen HirstKaren Hirst, managing director of Maple Grove Developments

“It’s inevitable that there’ll be some negative headlines in 2023 as the industry continues to be impacted by economic uncertainty.

“Maple Grove Developments will look to release positive headlines which focus on the really important effects of development. We’ll show that as well as creating exceptional new spaces for people to work, live and enjoy, we’re also working hard to help shape a better future. We’ll demonstrate how working closely with our development partners has enabled us to be innovative in our approach to building efficiencies and funding whilst maintaining our focus on the zero carbon and social value agenda.”

James WhittakerJames Whittaker, executive director for development at Peel L&P

“We expect a challenging first half to 2023 due to high interest and inflationary rates but hopefully a moderate inflation climate over the second half of the year will boost markets.

“Quality sustainable buildings with strong cash flows in attractive locations will likely perform well, especially in sectors with supply and demand imbalances including logistics and residential build-to-rent. New build stock will continue to focus on ESG and meeting net zero targets.”

Barry RobertsBarry Roberts, managing director of the North West at Morgan Sindall Construction

“Recent years have proven the resilience of the construction sector and I enter 2023 with optimism.  If we continue to support our supply chain and do the right things by our customers, we will certainly adapt to new challenges in the market. It’s important in these times that we do not lose focus on the excellent progress we’ve made regarding decarbonisation, equality, diversity, inclusion, enhancing communities and creating sustainable skills & employment – Morgan Sindall remain as committed as ever to its plans in these areas.

Tom StannardTom Stannard, chief executive of Salford City Council

“In 2023, expect a stronger focus on housing: affordability, stock availability, and quality/condition.  The government has moved away from the 300,000 target so the onus will be on imaginative public-private delivery partnerships to make schemes viable.  Innovation and the Greater Manchester accelerator will become a big programme for us.  There’s a recession looming, and it’ll linger – so quality of life in the cost of living crisis will rightly reign supreme.  We must link our goal of ‘good growth’ to the argument for investment in cash-drained public services that need to be the high-quality staples of our town centres.”

Caroline BakerCaroline Baker, manager partner of the North West at Cushman & Wakefield

“I believe that ‘quality’ will and should be dominating our headlines in 2023.

Quality of our homes – tackling conditions in our social and privately rented accommodation as well as how we can improve energy efficiency in our dated houses

Quality of public transport across the North, specifically how we can unlock investment in our rail network between our cities and to London

Quality of where we work – ongoing investment in our work environment to support collaboration and creativity to support  growth”

Will LewisWill Lewis, director at OBI

“During 2022, we experienced larger businesses becoming increasingly focused on a building’s ESG credentials. Occupiers are now seriously valuing sustainability as part of their business DNA and during 2022 large companies cherry-picked some of the best performing, premium space in the city.  We believe that 2023 will see small businesses (those with sub-100-employees) follow this trend. Those landlords that have initiated a strong ESG story in buildings offering smaller refurbished suites will generate high levels of tenant interest and premium rents. We see these ESG-compliant buildings leading the way in setting new headline rents across the city during 2023.”

Joanne WallerJoanne Waller, managing director at Sourced Development Group

“There will definitely be more widespread usage of artificial intelligence and the metaverse. There will be growth in the technology infrastructure within businesses, which should be encouraged for a more immersive consumer experience.

“We at Sourced Development Group are also closely monitoring the wider global market as well as planning reforms within government for local plan rollout.”

Dirk PittawayDirk Pittaway, regional managing director at Robertson Group

“This year we have seen the greatest project success through genuine collaboration with customers and supply chain. As economic uncertainty looks to continue into 2023 collaboration will remain a key theme within the industry.”


Mark Adey

Mark Adey, managing director at Fairhursts Design Group

“We see growth in our established blue-chip R&D and manufacturing client base alongside further development of employment and investment zones such as The Knowledge Quarter, Liverpool, and Atom Valley in Rochdale. Continued traction in the levelling up of the North will be key, with Greater Manchester leading the way to create an Innovation Accelerator and boost opportunities from Commercial / Higher Education collaborations such as ID Manchester.”

Chris CheapChris Cheap, principal and managing director for Manchester and Leeds at Avison Young

“Next year will bring further adaption to change as we continue to pivot until we are dizzy. Macroeconomic conditions will bring challenges and opportunity in equal measure, as limitations on traditional capital flows may open the door for other more nimble players to enter the North West market. Social value and impact have become central to development this year and I am hopeful momentum won’t be lost by some economic bumps in the road.”

phil MayallPhil Mayall, regional managing director of the North West at Muse Developments

“Throughout 2022, we’ve seen disruption mainly from two changes in government (leadership and policy fluctuation), this appears to be settling down for the moment but policy changes and announcements will increase in 2023, most notably around levelling up, as political parties move onto an election footing.

“The most notable shift, however, has been a major shift from both investors and occupiers, with a clear move towards sustainability being high on their list of priorities. This is going to increase exponentially as we go into 2023. However, trust and transparency in this area is crucial.”

Sandy LivingstoneSandy Livingstone, executive director of property at Onward Homes

“I expect to see a general flattening in the housing market, and anticipate less volatility in construction prices. Demand is likely to remain high in the right locations, especially for the more affordable homes and tenures we provide. We will continue to work closely with local authority partners to address specific housing needs in our communities.

“It remains to be seen how much Government funding will be channelled into vital regeneration projects across the region. Investment, creative thinking and partnership working will all be key to maintaining momentum and achieving any real ‘levelling up’ within housing.”

Nicola KaneNicola Kane, director of Steer

“2023 looks set to be another big year for HS2 Phase 2B line from Crewe to Manchester. After a flurry of activity following the deposit of the Hybrid Bill in January 2022, the membership of the select committee has been announced and is dominated by Northern MPs. They will consider issues raised by NW stakeholders, such as Cheshire East Council, GMCA and Manchester City Council, including the design of HS2 stations at Crewe, Piccadilly, and Manchester Airport; the visual impact of the line; and the mitigation of disruption from HS2 construction. It remains to be seen how much this will influence the final proposals but it’s a critical stage in HS2’s evolution and will be worth watching closely given its importance to the North West.”

Your Comments

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A new source of sustainable energy that could revolutionise water related industries and other sectors including liquideos gases and desalination facilties might finally be proven in 2023. Merry Christmas everyone!

By Liverpolitis

Merry Christmas to all at Place and to all readers. May 2023 bring a return of pace, ambition and action at Liverpool City Council.

By Sceptical

The publication of the Grenfell fire inquiry report, in 2023, will focus attention onto some questionable building practices.

By Anonymous

What won`t dominate the headlines in 2023 ,unfortunately ,is the almost total ignoring of the Liverpool City Region in relation to HS2, we get little or no mention, no new track, uncertainty about any terminal station .
Neither Tory or Labour are interested, no local Labout MPs raise the matter, is it any wonder nothing happens.

By Anonymous

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