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With the government’s consultation for the vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc set to be announced soon, EG talks to the experts to find out what this means for the Ox-Cam Arc region and the opportunities it presents.

Opening keynote presentation – Minister of state for housing, Christopher Pincher

Listen as the minister of state for housing explains what the OxCam Arc is and why this region is so vital right now. He will delve into the arc’s spatial framework; what it means in practise, how it will fit in with other planning regulations and how people can ensure their voices are heard.

Panel 1 – Responding to the Arc Vision consultation announcement 

Following the Arc Vision Consultation announcement from MHCLG, our expert panel will debate the merits of the consultation and the wider arc opportunity; what it means for the role of the property market within the arc; and what else is needed for the arc to reach its potential.

Speakers currently confirmed: 

  • David Marks, co-founding partner, Brockton Everlast
  • Patrick McMahon, senior partner, Bidwells 
  • Liz Peace CBE, adviser on property, politics and the built environment 
  • Iain Gilbey, partner, head of residential, Pinsent Masons

Panel 2 – Driving growth in the centre of the arc

Infrastructure improvements and development corporations will encourage growth and investment opportunities in the centre of the arc.

But the question remains – can the centre of the arc shake off its commuter town image to drive prosperity and growth, and build its appeal on the global stage?

Speakers currently confirmed:

  • Alberto Martin, chief executive, London Luton Airport 
  • Gareth Jacob, managing director, Countryside Properties 
  • Peter Horrocks CBE, chair, SEMLEP
  • Rachel Dickie, executive director, investment, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

Speakers

Chris Pincher, minister of state for housing

Pincher was first elected to parliament in 2010 as MP for Tamworth. He has been minister of state for housing since February 2020, with a specific focus on planning reform, supporting the housing market and home ownership. He also supports the minister of state for building safety by answering for the government in the House of Commons on building safety matters.

Peter Horrocks, chair, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership

Peter Horrocks CBE was vice-chancellor of the Open University from 2015 until April 2018. Prior to joining the OU, he was director of the BBC World Service. At the Open University Horrocks devised the university’s strategy – Students First – designed to reinvigorate the OU’s pedagogy through a “digital by design” approach. He oversaw significant restructuring and the prioritisation of resources for student benefit. He also chaired FutureLearn, the UK’s only higher education open social learning higher education platform. FutureLearn has over 7 million users globally. At the BBC, Horrocks held a number of roles, including being editor of Newsnight and Panorama, head of current affairs, head of TV news and head of multimedia news. He won two BAFTAs for his journalism. In 2015 he was awarded a CBE for services to broadcasting in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Iain Gilbey, partner and head of residential, Pinsent Masons

Gilbey specialises in all aspects of the law relating to town and country planning, and related environmental issues. His primary focus is on large-scale mixed-use and residential-led projects, urban extensions and large-scale settlement and commercial projects. His practice encompasses advice on all non-contentious and contentious planning matters, including court challenges, public inquiries and other tribunals.

Liz Peace, former chief executive, BPF

Peace was chief executive of the British Property Federation for 13 years until her retirement in 2014. She was awarded a CBE in 2008 for services to the property industry. Peace now has a portfolio career with a range of non-executive, advisory and charity roles, including at Howard de Walden Estates, RPS Group, RDI REIT, the Churches Conservation Trust, Connected Places Catapult and The Whiteley Homes Trust. She is chairman of Real Estate Balance, president of the Property Litigation Association, and a member of the Mayor of London’s Homes for Londoners Board. In 2017 Liz was appointed Chairman of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation and in 2018 appointed chairman of the sponsor board for the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme. She has recently been appointed as the chair of the University of Cambridge’s property board.

Patrick McMahon, senior partner, Bidwells

Providing strategic advice on large-scale urban developments and investments, McMahon has led the firm for more than 10 years. McMahon works with Bidwells’ biggest development and investment clients in an advisory capacity. McMahon also lends his expertise on major innovation districts in Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes, where the UK’s top university researchers are collaborating with private capital to help solve the world’s biggest problems. Advising the government on the Oxford to Cambridge Arc economic area, McMahon has led a coalition of property’s biggest names in successfully lobbying ministers for stronger economic policy in support of the UK’s knowledge industries. 

David Marks, co-founder, Brockton Capital

Marks co-founded Brockton Capital in 2005. The firm has raised more than £1.8bn of equity across four separate vehicles since 2006, which has supported a £5bn UK portfolio. Most recently, in 2018, Marks co-founded Brockton Everlast as the fourth Brockton entity. Brockton Everlast now owns a growing office and life science portfolio of around £800m. Prior to co-founding Brockton Everlast, Marks worked at The Blackstone Group (2001-2005, in London) and JLL (1989-1999, in London and New York). He is a member of the Bank of England’s commercial property forum, the BPF policy committee and a trustee of both the National Gallery and the Architecture Foundation.

Alberto Martin, chief executive, London Luton Airport

Martin has been chief executive of London Luton Airport since 2018. During the pandemic in 2020, LLA remained the fastest recovering major airport relative to 2019 in both capacity and passenger numbers. Martin joined the airport in 2017 as planning and investment director, where he was responsible for the delivery of its recent £160m expansion project. Before joining LLA, he gained 20 years’ experience in airports, holding a variety of executive roles across Europe, including 10 years as managing director of Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura airports. During his six years at Gran Canaria, it saw record growth in profitability and passenger numbers, and successfully delivered improved airport facilities. He is MSc in aeronautical engineering and was previously chairman of the regional airports forum of ACI-Europe. 

Gareth Jacob, managing director, Countryside Properties 

Jacob is managing director at Countryside, overseeing its newly created Partnerships Chilterns region. Based in Countryside’s new Milton Keynes office, he oversees a range of regeneration schemes in and around the Oxford Cambridge Arc.

Previously managing director of the South Midlands region for Taylor Wimpey, Jacob boasts extensive experience in housebuilding having worked across the Midlands, London and the Home Counties.

Rachel Dickie, executive director, investment, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland 

Dickie leads the investment team at Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, with responsibility for scaling its investment portfolio across the UK through direct investment and partnerships.

She oversees the management of existing projects, including Grosvenor’s strategic land portfolio, Liverpool ONE and the Bermondsey development, as well as the new investment strategy.  

Dickie joined Grosvenor from Legal & General, where she was an investment director in the future cities business, leading the urban regeneration team. Here she was responsible for sourcing, structuring and investment management of real estate projects and partnerships including Cardiff Central Square, Newcastle Helix, Bruntwood SciTech and a joint venture with Oxford University.

Prior to that, she held various asset and portfolio management positions across the UK and Europe at CBRE Investors and Tishman Speyer.

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