Downtown Manchester  in Business hosted an exclusive leaders lunch at Hotel Brooklyn on Portland Street in Manchester City Centre this week with guest speaker, Pat Bartoli, Head of City Centre Growth & Regeneration at Manchester City Council.

Pat discussed the challenges posed by the current pandemic and what changes that has made to the direction of the City Centre Growth and Regeneration team. Pat highlighted job retention as a key focal point, redoubling efforts on building the right initiatives and investments; and increased support for the cultural sector and business’s being hit hard by further restrictions.

The discussion led by Andy McIntyre of VSI  went on to explore the cultural shift in the work life balance in the city centre and how residents and commuters alike have adapted the way they interact with the city. It was concluded that people were already looking for a more flexible approach to work life balance and that if anything, the conversation has been accelerated by bigger businesses offering permanent home working as an option for some staff. This of course has a wider impact on the whole ecology of the business environment with some SMEs feeling that they have been left stranded without the city benefiting from the magnetic appeal of larger companies.

Pat was confident about the long term future of the city  with city centre development not stopping throughout the pandemic. This period has allowed time to reflect on the cities infrastructure and green spaces increasing its place further as a prime European city to live.

Huge thanks to Hotel Brooklyn for hosting the lunch event. To get in touch with the venue regarding meetings, events and conferencing contact patrick.gaffney@downtowninbusiness.com

(@DIB_PatrickG)