The Regenerate South Annual Conference, organised by Business South, attracted delegates from across the Central South region including Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth.
Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon Jackson welcomed delegates and reiterated the city was open to working with investors who were keen to get projects out of the ground.
Keynote speaker, Mark Davy, Founder and CEO of Futurecity, explored the important role placemaking methods have when it comes to creating places that can compete for investment and business. Mark has worked on many major projects across the world, creating a narrative that attracts investment and captures the imagination of people living there.
He argued that ambitious initiatives like the new Central South region, can provide incredible opportunities for a cluster of cities defined by creative expression, taking a creative approach to the ‘hardware’ of cities such as infrastructure, landscape and architecture, boulevards, squares and parks and in doing so creating the city as a ‘gallery without walls’.
He believes culture is the key to unlocking the seductive power of cities and a catalyst and tool for defining a place’s individuality. Our work, play, home life is merging and a new cultural language is emerging to describe the transition of our cities from places of manufacture to factories for ideas.
Mark Davy, Founder and CEO of Futurecity said
“Across the UK we are seeing the rise of the idea of ‘cities of culture’ as our cities and regions use arts and culture to define their independence, explore their uniqueness, celebrate and promote local identity in all its forms. We are seeing a unique ‘crosshair’ moment with the growth in the creative industries, a desire for authentic and original experiences, a millennial driven focus on place, belonging and community and the city as a place for creative participation.”
Also at the conference, investors had the opportunity to find out more about what the Central South has to offer in the meet the site owners zone which highlighted development opportunities across the region.
Tim Hancock, Chair of the Regenerate South Action Group said
“Regenerate South brings together a host of regional experts and influencers under one roof, making it an opportunity not to be missed. We are one of the most significant and successful economic regions in Britain and we firmly believe there is a great deal to gain from businesses, Local Enterprise Partnerships, politicians, and investors working together to drive the area forward”
Leigh Sara-Timberlake, Group CEO of Business South, said:
“Regenerate South is now an established event, and definitely the place to be for those who want to learn more about the Central South and contribute towards its continuing success story.”