Experienced property and investment professionals join East Midlands DevCo’s independent board

Date posted: May 31, 2022
Screenshot 2022-05-31 at 09.38.13

A team of hugely experienced property and investment professionals will help advise on the progress of one of the biggest development opportunities in the UK.

The East Midlands Development Company has recruited a team of private sector non-executive directors to work alongside its local authority partners, commercial advisors and core team as it seeks to promote the development of three sites which between them cover an area the size of three London Olympic parks. 

EM DevCo has been set up as a partnership by five local authorities in the East Midlands as the predecessor body to a regional development corporation – flagged in the government’s Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill as vital to boost growth in the UK regions. 

The five new non-executive directors at EM DevCo are:

  • Lucy Blasdale, former development director at Homes England who will shortly be joining Barratt David Wilson
  • Gary Colligan, an architect and town planner who founded spatial design business Think Place
  • Ben Denton, CEO of L&G Affordable Homes, one of the leading developers and operators of affordable homes
  • Imogen Ebbs, head of UK funds for the investment arm of insurance giant Aviva
  • Adrian Turner, the former Morgan Sindall executive who heads advisory business Lagom

They join local authority representatives on an independent board chaired by Sir Chris Haworth, the former head of commercial at Carter Jonas who himself has a 40-year career in the property and development industry. 

He said: “With our local authority partners, we now have a really experienced team, who come on board at a pivotal moment for EM DevCo. We have a series of large-scale opportunities in front of us, our commercial partner has just been announced, and government has signaled its belief that the development corporation model will play a leading role in levelling up.

“The mix of property, development and investment wisdom we now have alongside our local authority partners will enable us to provide expert guidance to the DevCo as it explores the enormous commercial potential of these sites and the contribution they can make to growing the regional economy.

The announcement about the private sector non-executive directors comes after EM DevCo revealed that Areli Developments – whose team worked on landmarks like Battersea Power Station in London and Gunwharf Keys in Portsmouth – has been appointed to advise on the commercial potential of the three sites.

EM DevCo has also been selected by government as one of its Design Codes pilots, with a remit to work with partners to ensure the development of places which achieve high standards of design.

EM DevCo’s Managing Director, Richard Carr, said: “Our sites represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver transformational growth in the East Midlands from community to economy level. We are now building real momentum, and the appointment of our new non-executive directors give us access to a range of high-level professional insights that will help us channel our efforts and accelerate progress.”


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