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Place-shaping is vital for the well-being of an area. We take on a dominant role in shaping places for the better through inspiring quality and innovation at local and national level.

"Great 'places' - as distinct from ‘spaces’ or ‘buildings’ - are activated and differentiated by bringing together their physical attributes with the social experiences that they can offer. Places are not defined by their built form, but rather through the way in which people use, interpret, think, feel and talk about them. The unique characteristic - or DNA - of a place is produced from an overlaying of its physical and social fabrics. The shaping of that place is the on-going process of modelling and remodelling to enhance both its physical and social aspects. As the emotional connections of existing and potential investors, occupiers and visitors are strengthened there is a resultant upturn in the appeal and value of the place. At Savills, our Place-shaping experts start from the basic principle that no two places are the same; each has its own history, purpose, and sense of community. Our role is to identify and bring to the fore those unique characteristics and build upon them to create distinctive and enduring places capable of extraordinary experiences.” Our specialism is BIDs and place-shaping services for retail, leisure, office and residential. We engage with a wide range of stakeholders including but not limited to DMO's and local authorities. Our length and breadth of experience allows us to support you in very specific ways to suit your place. You might need our team on the ground for intensive periods to work on a project full­time or you might just need some technical advice on the end of the phone.  Whether it is support for your BID or place, there are many routes available to you but we pride ourselves on getting under the skin of your challenges and providing bespoke services.


Some of our place-shaping services

The Ipswich Vision

Ipswich is the County town of Suffolk, with a population of 135,000, and a secondary catchment of circa 325,000. Historically, its town centre relied upon primarily retail uses, with limited office development primarily in the insurance and public sectors. In addition to a drift to internet shopping and out of town developments, the town suffered from low average spend and limited dwell-time from its primary catchment, low penetration amongst its secondary catchment, as well as strong competition from centres such as Norwich (45  mins), Cambridge (55 mins), Westfield Stratford (55 mins) and London West End (75 mins).  

The consequence had been stagnating rental values, reductions in occupier demand, flat wages, talent-drain to London and Cambridge, and so limited development and investment.    

Savills Place is behind Ipswich Central Management (ICM), a Business Improvement District (BID) established less to provide additional services and more to transform the town centre into a viable proposition for the future.  

At the commencement of its second term, ICM undertook an assessment of the current town centre using baseline data and significant research and consultation amongst residents, businesses and other key stakeholders.     

This led to the publishing of a new Vision for Ipswich, entitled ‘Turning Our Town Around’ (https://ipswichcentral.com/the-vision-for-ipswich/ ). It gained wide stakeholder support as, for the first time, it provided a clear and mutually owned plan to develop and improve the town’s central area.      

The Leadenhall Building

The Leadenhall is one of London's most iconic buildngs in the City. The Savills Place team have placed strategy at the heart of it's approach and are currently working on a number of Place-shaping recommendations based on the physical and social construct on the building. One of these recommendations is to deliver a number of initiatives targeted entirely at employees in the building. Other Place-shaping constructs we are currently looking at are design, connectivity, sustainability, composition, marketing, enlivenment, leadership and perception.

Nottingham BID

A bespoke piece of business consultation and consultancy was commissioned by the Nottingham BID who commissioned us to conduct a consultation exercise on the viability of increasing the geographical area of the BID whilst simultaneously exploring the idea of expanding the BID membership to include the office sector. We achieved an excellent response rate and supplemented this with workshops to build both qualitative and quantitative results. These results were then analysed and a written report and presentation was provided to the client’s steering group so that decisions could be made on the shape of the Nottingham BID at the time of renewal.

Birmingham City Council

Bimringham City Council appointed us to provide a strategic report as to the future of BIDs across the city. This can be viewed here.

Middlesbrough Council

Middlesbrough Council recently appointed us to conduct an economic assessment of their town centre. This project involved analysis of local brands operating in the area, a communications audit, flaneurs research, stakeholder interviews and workshops. 500 business and consumer questionnaires were conducted, along with customer profiling, and a quantitative analysis on employee numbers, vacancy rates, land use and much more. The assessment put forward 20 recommendations to Middlesbrough Council. We have now been instructed to progress to a second stage of work bringing the recommendations to life with an agreed action plan.