Gender perceptions in transport

Nichols is delighted to be included in the APPG report for Women in Transport on gender perceptions in the transport industry. In the report, we share our vision to create a business environment that reflects the variety in the world around us, and reveal the results we have achieved so far. Click here to read the full report.


Sponsorship and collaboration

Nichols’ Liz Baker has written an article on the relationship between sponsorship and collaboration in major projects. In her piece, she explores the benefits of sponsorship, as well as the attributes required by a sponsor to enable better collaboration.  To read her article in full, click here.


Frances Nichols nominated for industry contribution

As part of International Women’s Month, our Chair and Creative Director, Frances Nichols, was nominated by the IPFA for her outstanding contribution to raising consciousness and loving variety in business and the world. To view the nominees, click here.


Project Pace panel discussion

In December, Nichols’ Kerry Bangle was a panel member at the Major Project Association’s Project Pace – Accelerating Major Projects event. The event considered how the public and private sector might collaborate to help accelerate the successful delivery of major projects in the UK. To read more about Nichols’ approach to Project Speed, click here.


Town recovery the tailored way

As the country looks to recover from the continuing challenges presented by Covid-19, one crucial issue we must confront is regional economic regeneration and the ‘levelling-up’ agenda. The pandemic has laid bare just how vital it is that we support communities nationwide to revitalise their local environment and build economic resilience. With coastal communities and areas in the North and Midlands particularly vulnerable to an economic downturn, we need to get serious about supporting our regions and towns. It is vital that a new and creative approach is adopted to ensure freedom of opportunity is no longer contingent on geography.

A cornerstone of the Government’s commitment to level up the regions is the £3.6bn Towns Fund. As leading strategic change experts, last year Nichols were invited to join a multidisciplinary consortium of specialists appointed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to help local authorities access the Fund and support their communities. By October 2020, the first seven Town Deals, worth almost £180m, were announced, providing communities with a much-needed confidence boost to drive economic regeneration and productivity growth.

At Nichols we believe there are two key considerations that will ensure the success of this vital programme. First is the importance of a collaborative, bespoke approach. What has become clear during our 45 years of working on major regeneration projects, from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games legacy to the redevelopment of Kings Cross, is that a one size fits all approach will always be doomed to fail. Communities, the people that live in them, their local environment and the challenges they face are all unique – so our approaches in supporting and strengthening them should be equally so.

Secondly, we need to recognise the importance of local knowledge and experience. Any levelling up programme must champion local voices and must, at all costs, avoid the appearance of Londoners telling regions ‘how things should be done’. In our role of supporting local authorities and empowering leaders in the design and development of their local plans, Nichols’ experts will, wherever possible, be located in the region they are working with. Our innovative virtual working practices will also support the successful delivery of the Fund.

Therefore, the focus of the Fund on enabling local communities to shape their own environment is key. The scale of the Covid-19 crisis makes it the most challenging national event since the 1940s. And if stronger, more inclusive and resilient towns is one of the outcomes from this pandemic, then this crisis will not have been for nothing.

To read Katie’s op-ed in full, please visit The Municipal Journal.


Learning to Lead

This morning, Nichols’ Simon Kirby was delighted to host ‘Learning to Lead’, an event in collaboration with the Major Projects Association. During the event, Simon explored the importance of leadership at all levels, as well as introducing different leadership styles and ideas for development. To read more about this event click here.