Workman launches fully integrated placemaking consultancy Activate

Workman LLP, the UK’s largest independent commercial property management and building consultancy firm, has announced the launch of Activate, a dedicated placemaking consultancy service, confirming its first instruction to deliver a placemaking feasibility study for developer U+I on a proposed mixed-use scheme in the Midlands.

Led by industry experts Andrew Sparrow (Director of Placemaking) and Esther Worboys (Placemaking Manager), Activate offers a bespoke, specialist placemaking advisory service across all sectors – town centres, retail and leisure, offices and business parks. Activate can advise at all stages of placemaking projects, from conception and development to implementation and operations.

Activate’s first instruction is an appointment by developer U+I Plc to deliver a comprehensive feasibility study in support of development plans for a potential mixed-use scheme in the Midlands.

Richard Upton, Deputy Chief Executive at U + I commented: “Andrew and Esther have a wealth of expertise in how to deliver an authentic experience that reflects the unique needs of a community. We’ve seen the real results that a cohesive placemaking strategy can bring in knitting together a community and its place, and look forward to seeing what this innovative team now delivers as part of a well-established and highly networked national consultancy like Workman.”

Activate has also just been instructed by a local authority to provide consultancy advice on a high street regeneration project in the North West. This includes repurposing void space within the town centre, in collaboration with Workman Building Consultancy, creating an innovative forward-thinking design and vison.

Andrew Sparrow, Director of Placemaking at Workman LLP, commented: “We are excited to launch this consultancy service as part of the Workman brand, at a time when effective placemaking can have a critical impact on occupier retention and protecting portfolio values. This service is complementary to Workman’s well-established property management offer and is already generating strong interest across the client base, as well as from new clients. The recent instructions from U+I and the local authority demonstrate how this new service can benefit different sectors, who all share the same underlying objective of creating great places within their respective local communities.

“The placemaking process begins with listening and engaging with those who live, work and play in a particular place, working collaboratively to create and implement a shared future vision.”

Andrew and Esther’s track record spans 30 years of combined experience in placemaking including meanwhile use projects, occupier engagement strategies, events and destination marketing. This includes the transformation of Old Spitalfields Market into one of London’s most popular visitor destinations and advising local authorities on their retail and leisure strategies which has led to average increases in footfall of 50% and average tenant occupancy rates of 90%.

Workman Property Managements manages 4,300 properties nationwide.