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Team behind Altrincham’s regeneration launch new company

The team behind Altrincham’s renowned regeneration have launched a new company, IntoPlaces Ltd, which they say turns ‘traditional approaches to town centre regeneration on their head.’

The team is made up of Matt Colledge, Penny Bell and Sonia Cubrilo, who originally developed the now nationally recognised model that turned Altrincham from a ‘ghost town to boom town’, and they believe much of what they did is applicable to other towns.

They also think that the traditional approach to regeneration may not achieve a towns true potential.

Colledge, former leader of Trafford Council and founder of the public/private sector organisation, Altrincham Forward, said: ‘We have been asked so many times how we regenerated Altrincham, it seemed a logical extension to offer a service that provides this much needed support, at a time when high street renewal is high on the agenda.’

IntoPlaces says that ‘too often’ masterplans devised in town halls lack the ownership and backing of key stakeholders as well as the wider business and resident communities.

Colledge added: ‘For towns to recapture their uniqueness and be places of experience and difference, a collective vision needs to be created, engaging everyone. This is one of the many services that we offer, based on our experiences in successfully regenerating town centres.’

Penny Bell, who was instrumental to the operational delivery of Altrincham Forward, based on her experience across many towns, said: ‘We are also able to take that shared vision and turn it into a tangible strategy with key actions taken forward by many partners.

‘For example, our unique model of bringing landlords together is an incredibly powerful tool to drive up occupancy of vacant property, encourage new businesses and improve the visitor experience.   It is something we are often asked to provide support with.’

IntoPlaces says they are keen to share the models they developed to encourage engagement with different stakeholders, stimulate the property sector and support businesses, by offering practical solutions based on their first-hand experience.

Sonia Cubrilo, who was responsible for developing collaborative partnerships and stakeholder engagement, including community groups and young people, said: ‘We have taken the same journey and faced the challenges that town centres continue to battle with, but without creating wider local ownership and engagement, towns will struggle to be successful going forward. This is where we can provide our expertise to help organisations.’

IntoPlace directors are also working with the Institute of Place Management to support towns availing of the governments £1bn High Street Fund and will offer their expertise to help towns deliver optimal and sustainable regeneration of their places.

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