Dr. Steve Millington

Steve is a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Geography and Environmental Management within the School of Science and Environment at Manchester Metropolitan University. He also holds a number of other posts: Director of the Institute of Place Management; Co-investigator – Bringing Big Data to Small Users (Technology Strategy Board); Co-investigator – UK High Street 2020 (ESRC); Trustee of the Manchester Geographical Society. Previously he was employed as a Researcher, The Planning Exchange (1991-93). As well as that he is a Admissions Tutor for Geography and Environment. His research expertise are, High Street Regeneration and Place Management, Geographies of lighting and illumination, Geographies of football. 

‘Findings from the High Street UK 2020 (ERSC) project and the current project, Bringing Big Data to Small Users (Innovate UK), demonstrates the importance of data-driven area-based decision-making. Our findings also show that for town and city centres to regenerate, local stakeholders need to be more actively involved in this process. However, current approaches to spatial and economic development are top-down and often exclude these local stakeholders – who have an essential role to play in the restoration of vibrancy and vitality to centres. At a national level, there is a critical need to provide capacity to support a new type of place-based economic and spatial ‘policy-in-waiting’ as central government occupied for the next two years servicing BREXIT.’

‘New, more integrated economic and spatial policy is needed as within existing national, regional and local policy frameworks there is no detail regarding how to support inclusive and balanced economic growth through integrating the resources and talent found in local business, services and communities. Regeneration is synonymous with a silo approach, whereas our research shows the importance of collaborative, cross-sector working in specific places. Our research offers policy makers an evidence base to start to embed place management principles and structures into spatial and economic policy and, through focusing on place-based partnerships as structures for delivering economic and spatial policy; it offers a way forward in terms of integrating them.’

‘The Fellowship will allow me to support the drafting of new policy, initially working in a role for Manchester City Council, which involves drafting a new District Centre Planning and Management policy for the entire city. This will involve advising the Planning and Infrastructure Manager for Manchester City Council. The Fellowship will also allow me to influence the development of national and regional policy and guidelines for town centre revitalisation. This will include working as a policy advisor to the Lead Civil Servant for Town Centre Policy (DLCG), the Chief Office for Scotland’s Town’s Partnership, and the Manager of the Regeneration Unit in the Homes and Places Division (Welsh Assembly).’

The impact of the Fellowship will be:

  1. New District Centre Planning and Management Policy for Manchester City Council
  2. New guidelines for local authorities to facilitate a strategic approach to place management within Scotland’s Town Centre First Policy and the Welsh Assembly’s Valleys Task Force Strategy.
  3. New guidelines from the DCLG for Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs) to improve the economic and spatial outcomes of Business Improvement Districts across the UK.