UGC strengthens team with appointment of Strategy and Planning Director

Nigel Hudson

The Urban Growth Company (UGC) has strengthened its senior leadership team with the appointment of a new Strategy and Planning Director.

Nigel Hudson will be responsible for strategy and development, particularly attracting investment and gaining planning consents for the projects identified as part of the UK Central Hub scheme in Solihull.

Nigel is a chartered surveyor with over 30 years’ experience in the commercial property and development industry within both the public and private sector, including 15 years’ experience working in regional and local government.

He has joined the UGC from Worcestershire County Council where he was previously Head of Strategic Infrastructure and Economy which included responsibilities for strategic land, economic development, inward investment, sustainability and transport strategy functions.

As part of this role he was responsible for enabling delivery of several major developments within the region including Worcester Six, Malvern Hills Science Park and the county’s role in Redditch Gateway.

Nigel said: “The Hub is a game changer for the region and a significant opportunity for UK plc. It is a fantastic challenge and opportunity to join the UGC team, the engine room tasked with delivering it.

“The Hub is a unique opportunity in the UK to create a truly international gateway and destination where air, rail and strategic road connectivity link to local multi-modal transport networks at the heart of a series of new mixed-use developments that will power the growth of the region post-Covid and Brexit.’’

“I’m looking forward to working with the team at the UGC as well as our stakeholders and development partners to ensure we maximise the potential of a truly generational opportunity.”

The UGC is the organisation set up by Solihull Council to coordinate and lead infrastructure investment at The UK Central Hub in Solihull. The Hub comprises Birmingham Airport, the NEC, Jaguar Land Rover, Birmingham Business Park and Arden Cross, which will be a major mixed-use development with the HS2 Interchange Station at its centre.

Other plans include the delivery of an alternative car parking solution for HS2 at Interchange, the transformation of Birmingham International Station into a world-leading, multi-modal transport facility ahead of HS2’s arrival, the realignment of the automated people mover (APM) connecting Arden Cross to the rest of The Hub, and an overarching plan to improve local highways and traffic pinch-points.

Managing Director of the UGC, Jonathan Bretherton, said: “Nigel has huge experience and expertise within the property and construction industry and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the team which is delivering a scheme of regional, national and international importance.

“We’ve made huge progress along with our partners in the last 12 months despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re looking forward to accelerating our plans for The Hub – many of which are already at the delivery stage – and seeing these come to fruition in the coming months and years. Nigel’s appointment will undoubtedly help us to deliver these projects which will secure major economic, social and environmental benefits across the whole of the West Midlands and beyond.”