Community Regeneration Partnership Expertise in Urban Renewal
  • Apr

    Empty Homes Conference, London

    On 26 November 2012 Angus Kennedy co-chaired this conference organised by Empty Homes.  The conference gave practical advice on how an empty property can be brought back into use.

    The New Communities Minister Don Foster MP discussed the latest funding and the Government’s approach to empty homes.

    The conference took place at The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC1 7BT.

    Other speakers and sessions were as follows:

    The Great British property Scandal Part 2
    George Clarke, Independent Empty Homes Advisor
    George Clarke talked about what happened after the huge success of the Channel 4 series on Empty Homes, and the National Empty Homes Loans Fund.  He outlined the recommendations from the Empty Homes Review and stated that refurbishment should always be the first and preferred option, demolition the last.

    The National Empty Homes Loans Fund
    David Ireland, Chief Executive, Empty Homes
    The loans fund was one of the demands of Channel 4′s “Great British Property Scandal” campaign led by George Clarke. Government operated empty homes loans funds had already been announced in Scotland and Wales, this fund would now operate across England. The system was explained.

    Homesteading: Houses For £1
    Zainul Pirmohamed, Stoke City Council
    Stoke City Council have announced the first large scale homesteading programme in the UK in a decade. Their programme, that Empty Homes helped the council develop, will see empty homes sold to people on low incomes for £1 each. The homes are hard to let council houses and homes the council had previously acquired for regeneration schemes that can no longer go ahead.

    A Community Approach to re-using Empty Property
    Gareth Hepworth, CEO, Southwark Habitat For Humanity
    David Clare, Business Development Manager, Southwark Habitat For Humanity
    How SHFH involved different sectors of the community, Local Authorities and partnership with other voluntary sector organisations to come up with creative solutions for reusing property as affordable homes.

    More Than Just Pop-Up-Shops
    Dan Thompson, Empty Shops Network
    The Empty Shops Network is a project from Revolutionary Arts, and has encouraged prototyping, testing and reinvention of the redundant spaces in the UK’s town centres. ESN run great projects like Retail Ready People – Ten pop ups, in ten different places, each one created by thirty young people from the local area.

    Neighbourhood Identity: Key To Regeneration
    Trevor James,
    Trevor James is a Regeneration Consultant who talked about how defining the identity of your neighbourhood is key to regenerating it. He discussed: Dutch experience with neighbourhood identity; Description of the process of defining present (and past) identity; Defining the future identity; Using future identity to define what you need to build and who you can attract and Theory to practice – Het Oude Westen – deprived inner city neighbourhood with the worst crime and safety score in Rotterdam. Identity – young, multi cultural, entrepreneurs, – a viral marketing campaign coupled on success of local entrepreneurs, projects attracting new residents who would not normally have chosen this neighbourhood.

    Creative Re-Use Of Buildings
    Derek Latham, Latham Architects
    Lathams has pioneered the concepts of creative renewal and regeneration for nearly 30 years, growing steadily from a base in the East Midlands to win wide aclaim across the UK. Including projects like: Church Converts. Church Converts Limited is a new company set up specifically to acquire, find new uses for, and convert redundant church property to give them a viable new future.

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