Webinar: The Future of Towns and Cities and Regional Approaches to Covid Recovery

Please apply now to secure your spot on this live webinar. Sign up as usual using your WIG account, instructions to join confirming your place will be sent out a week ahead of the session. WIG members are guaranteed a place by applying to attend.

COVID-19 has impacted every corner of the UK. There are both national and regional efforts to tackle the impact of the pandemic on the local economy and community. In this special session, we will hear from three specific regions on how cities and towns are approaching Covid recovery. We will focus on what is being done in each region to stimulate a return to city centres and a discussion around the action taken by local authorities to support economic recovery. You will get insight into what is working, what still needs to be done, and how to work across both the broader public and private sector. By joining this session you will:

  • Understand the various approaches being taken across three specific regions to ensure a rapid bounce back from COVID-19
  • Get insight into the speed of recovery within these specific areas, and what else needs to be done to stimulate growth
  • Learn how public, private and not for profit sectors can support local authorities in Covid recovery



  • Mel Barrett

    Chief Executive

    Nottingham City Council

    Mel is Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council, serving one of the country’s most vibrant and diverse cities. He is responsible for providing policy advice to elected councillors and providing visible leadership to the council’s 6,000 staff delivering vital public services, securing economic growth and improving life chances.  He was previously Chief Executive of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and has a successful track record in the management of large scale customer facing services, organisational change and transformation initiatives, and the delivery of large scale regeneration and development projects.  Mel is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and an alumnus of the City University, London MBA Programme, as well as a Commissioner for the Commission for Creating Healthy Cities. 

  • Philip Graham

    Executive Director, Good Growth

    Greater London Authority

    Philip Graham was appointed as Executive Director, Good Growth and joined the GLA in January 2020. Phil joined the GLA from the National Infrastructure Commission where he was Chief Executive. Prior to that he was Head of the Independent Airports Commission after holding two Deputy Director roles in the Department for Transport (DfT) – responsible in one for the government’s high-speed rail strategy and in the other for transport security (including work on the Olympics) and research. Phil had several team leader roles in the Civil Service before that. Before he joined the Civil Service, Phil set up and ran an independent theatre company.

  • Julia Goldsworthy

    Director of Strategy

    West Midlands Combined Authority

    Julia Goldsworthy is Director of Strategy for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), working to unlock the region’s full economic potential, for the benefit of everyone that lives there. A former MP and Treasury Special Adviser in the coalition government, Julia has more than a decade of experience in developing and implementing policy across a wide range of departments and subject areas. Operating at senior levels in Government and the UK Parliament. Before joining the WMCA, she spent three years at PwC as a senior adviser. This included developing their market approach to the devolution agenda through her understanding of the processes and spending control frameworks behind policy. This in turn supported local and Combined Authorities as they developed their delivery strategies. Julia serves on the UK2070 Commission, Chaired by Lord Bob Kerslake, an independent inquiry into city and regional inequalities in the UK. She is also supporting the Covid Recovery Commission as a member of their policy panel. This commission will examine the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the levelling-up agenda and will produce bold and practical ideas over the coming months to support higher productivity levels, encourage business investment and promote a culture of innovation across the UK.



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