Author: Simon Fletcher, Chief Executive of Lichfield District Council
I’ve attended a few key meetings with potential developers, operators and investors this week to discuss the regeneration plans for Lichfield City Centre. We are in competition with other local authorities up and down the country working to attract investment in our district and some of those other local authorities have the benefit of huge amounts of government funding offered as an encouragement. It is a challenging environment but we are working hard to secure the interest we need in our schemes.
We are definitely punching above our perceived weight! We are talking to large, national brands and high quality operators who want to come to Lichfield District and who also are committed to ensuring that future development is in keeping with our heritage and the quality environments that makes the district so special.
As I was travelling to one of my meetings in London I was reflecting on how long it takes to finalise deals. There are many hours of discussion, negotiation, changes requested from third parties and it does become frustrating sometimes that we cannot release information earlier but we need to make sure that we are doing everything to get the right deal; especially as we are spending public money. After months of wrangling and conversations with several key partners, we are nearly in a position to be able to finally announce the name of the cinema operator. We have a meeting in the diary today and tomorrow to finalise the last couple of terms and then we can share the good news!