As part of the 2023 Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, our Managing Director Karen Alcock will be chairing a panel discussion on the future of Britain’s High Streets. The panel, hosted by Kanda and SME4Labour, will bring experts together from the development industry and politicians to discuss how a potential Labour government could help support revitalising town centres and retail sector.

The future of retail and our town centres is a key issue for the development sector, with Covid intensifying strong headwinds against bricks-and-mortar retail.

The panel event will be followed by a reception with appearances from senior Labour Party shadow ministers joining to celebrate communities, local government and businesses working in partnership for development.

Get your free tickets to the panel discussion here.

Get your free tickets to the reception here.

Panellists’ Profiles

Rushanara Ali, Shadow Minister for Investment & Small Business

In September 2023 Rushanara rejoined the shadow ministerial frontbench as part of the Business & Trade team, leading on Labour’s approach to investment and small business. Rushanara will be sharing her thoughts on how small business and social enterprise can be supported to contribute to the rejuvenation of our high streets and retail sector.

Councillor Kemi Akinola, Deputy Leader of Wandsworth Council

Kemi was a key part of the team that won Wandsworth Council back for Labour after 44 years of Conservative dominance. With experience of running two food-centred social enterprises she will be bringing her perspective about how the voluntary sector can play a role in improving our town centres. In her Council role she leads on engagement with businesses in the borough.

Morwenna Hall, COO and Partner Argent and Partner Related Argent

Argent and Related Argent are UK property business and urban regeneration specialists, bringing together the expertise and track record of Argent – the developer behind some of Britain’s most successful mixed-use places, and Related – one of the most innovative and prolific real estate companies in the US. Morwenna brings personal experience of delivering parts of the Kings Cross regeneration, widely admired as one of the most successful examples of placemaking in the world.

Councillor Adam Hug, Leader, Westminster City Council

If the UK had a High Street it would surely be Oxford Street in central London – it’s Adam’s job to ensure that Westminster City Council supports its success. Fresh from his campaign against American candy stores the Council is now consulting on plans to rejuvenate Oxford Street following the challenges of Covid, rival retail centres and internet shopping.

Mark Robinson, Chair, High Street Task Force

Mark is an award-winning entrepreneur and investor in town centres, having co-founded the developer Ellandi in 2008. He chairs the High Street Task Force, an alliance of place making experts working to redefine the high street, providing guidance, tools and skills to help communities, partnerships and local government transform their high streets.

Karen Alcock, Managing Director, Kanda (Chair)

Karen Alcock has worked in regeneration and planning for over fifteen years and is one of the best known and most experienced communication consultants working in property and planning today.

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