Regeneration is ‘food for thought’ at Willmott Dixon lunch


Leicester’s dynamic renaissance was the subject of a property and construction event held in the city – with female leaders discussing its ambitious growth and future opportunities.

Hosted by Lisa Cawdron, account manager of Willmott Dixon, guests heard how Leicester’s regeneration is moving forward at pace, with a number of key schemes already happening – or in the pipeline.

Helen Donnellan, inward investment director at Leicester City Council, spoke at the event to the female property and construction forum.  She said: “Leicester investment is on the crest of a wave. The city is forging ahead with a number of schemes. In particular, the Waterside first phase of development will have a significant and positive impact on Leicester.

“It is one of the largest scale projects that the city council has undertaken for many years. The scheme, which will be delivered by the council alongside a development partner, will include 350 residential units, 60,000 sq ft of commercial space a together enhanced public realm, pedestrian connectivity and improved access to the Waterside. The more people we can attract to live in the city centre, the more vibrant Leicester becomes. There is so much for the city to shout about.”

Helen also heralded the Mattioli Woods building – a £55 million, 60,000 sq ft office complex on the former New Walk Leicester City Council site. It will house 600 employees and will also include 54 apartments.

“Businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire tell me that they are booming,” she added. “Grant Thornton recently reported that the largest company by turnover in the Midlands is Barratt Developments. With reports that Barratt’s profits are up by 30%, this spells great news for the construction sector regionally – and nationally.”

Lisa Cawdron said: “Leicester is vibrant. The stage is set, schemes are starting and the city has many years of extensive development and change to look forward to. From the proposed Space Park, to the city’s tourism offer, from the Haymarket Theatre, to the new development at the former Fenwick’s building, Leicester has a clear strategy for growth.

“Together, the private and public sectors want to create a city where people want to live, work and enjoy their leisure time. There is the infrastructure and housing provision that will allow for regeneration schemes to happen and create a vibrant city centre.”

Guests at the event held at The Case in Leicester included Louise Seymour, head of development projects at Leicester City Council; Helen Donnellan; Julie Keeling, strategic commissioning manager at Leicestershire County Council; Jenny Clarke, associate director at Innes England; Emma Hunt, head of legal at Westleigh Partnerships; Jo Griffin-Shaw, senior partner at Pick Everard; Pam Allardice of Pam Allardice Associates, Liz Cartwright of PR and digital agency Cartwright Communications ; Carrie Booth, business development co-ordinator of BSP Consulting; Victoria Brambini, managing director of framework organisation Scape;  Helen Andrews, director of creative agency RizkMcCay; Catherine Haward, managing director of Wheatcroft Land.