Westminster Social Policy Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7538736244

Next steps for English towns - priorities for investment, infrastructure, and implementing Town Deals

Morning, Wednesday, 10th June 2020


This conference will assess the next steps for English towns. Planned areas for discussion include:

  • priorities for Town Deals;
  • developing housing and transport infrastructure; and
  • supporting economic growth.

It takes place in context of:

  • Government accelerating its plans for regenerating English towns - as 100 places are chosen to take part in new Town Deals;
  • Formation of Town Deal Boards, with Government expecting to receive Town Investment Plans by summer 2020;
  • MHCLG announcing that ‘hundreds of millions’ of the £1bn Future High Streets Fund will be invested across England in 2020; and
  • A planned National Bus Strategy to be published later this year following the announcement of £5bn to develop bus and cycle links for every region outside London.

There will be a keynote contribution from: Beatrice Andrews, Head of Deals, Cities and Local Growth Unit.

Further speakers include: Claudia Kenyatta, Director, Regions, Historic England; David Kerfoot, Chair, York and North Yorkshire Enterprise Partnership and High Sheriff, North Yorkshire; Matt Leach, Chief Executive Officer, Local Trust; Sue Morgan, Director, Architecture and the Built Environment, Design Council and Gareth Swarbrick, Chief Executive, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing.

Rt Hon the Lord Bassam of Brighton has kindly agreed to chair part of this seminar.

The agenda

  • The policy outlook for English Towns;
  • Supporting prosperity and learning from successful town regeneration projects;
  • Making best use of the Towns Fund, developing Town Investment Plans and linking with Local Industrial Strategies;
  • Meeting the housing needs of local communities and making sure the right type of housing is in the right place;
  • Developing local transport networks, improving bus services and integrating services effectively; and
  • Supporting local economic growth - improving the cultural offering in town centres, repurposing property, utilising investment and supporting local retailers.

Keynote Speaker

Beatrice Andrews

Head of Deals, Cities & Local Growth Unit


Rt Hon the Lord Bassam of Brighton


David Kerfoot

Chair, York and North Yorkshire Enterprise Partnership and High Sheriff, North Yorkshire

Gareth Swarbrick

Chief Executive, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing

Sue Morgan

Director, Architecture and the Built Environment, Design Council

Claudia Kenyatta

Director, Regions, Historic England

Matt Leach

Chief Executive Officer, Local Trust

Dr Kris Declercq

Mayor, Roeselare, Belgium and President, West-Vlaamse Intercommunale

Jason Jones-Hall

Project Director, Pioneering Places East Kent

Michelle Sacks

Director, Growth and Deputy Chief Executive, Boston Borough Council