Oxford City Council’s regeneration, planning and property directorate has been named as Team of the Year at a prestigious industry awards ceremony.
Organised by UK Property Forums and held at the Bicester Motion, The OxPropFest Awards recognise the best in Oxfordshire’s property market.
The win recognised the ongoing contribution of the Council to the success of the Oxfordshire property market over time. Judges looked for a team effort beyond the call of the normal working day, which was thought to be especially relevant over the past 12 months.
“We are truly delighted to have been named Team of the Year. It’s a real vote of confidence from the industry in the Council’s ambitious agenda to maximise the city's potential, and address its challenges head on.
“I’m incredibly proud of the team and the award is testament to everyone’s hard work and drive.”
Tom Bridgman, Executive Director, Development at Oxford City Council
Developing new strategies
Among other things, the team is leading the development of a new Economic Development strategy and City Centre Action Plan, both of which will be published for consultation later in the year.
It is working to co-ordinate and align land owners across the West End of Oxford to deliver a new innovation district, alongside the redevelopment of Oxford train station.
It is also leading key regeneration projects across the city, including at the Blackbird Leys Estate, the East Oxford and Bullingdon community centres, and the conversion of the former Boswells department store into much-needed city centre hotel space.
Last year, the team secured the adoption of the Council’s ambitious Local Plan, which will be central to the continued drive to deliver more, affordable housing in the city. More recently, through the pandemic, it has worked hard to support the Council’s significant commercial tenant base, and more broadly by allocating Covid-related grants to local businesses across the city.
Working with the Highway Authority Oxfordshire County Council, the team also found ways to provide space for additional outdoor tables and chairs and pedestrianised areas across the city, including Broad Meadow on Broad Street, to contribute to the recovery following lockdown.
“Congratulations to the regeneration, planning and property directorate on their win. In Oxford, we historically own – and care for – much of the city centre, including our historic covered market which dates back to 1774. We do our best to safeguard the legacy of these wonderful buildings, as well as supporting sustainable and inclusive growth that benefits everyone in our community.
“This award is a tremendous achievement and it’s wonderful to see that the team’s hard work and dedication has been recognised.”
Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader of Oxford City Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management
“This award is very well deserved. I have been very impressed with the determination and focus of Tom and his team, and the positive level of engagement that has been established.”
Jeremy Long, Chair of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP)
One of Britain’s greatest rowers, Olympic gold medallist Greg Searle, handed out the awards.