Public services are operating under incredible pressure but have continued to demonstrate resilience, adaptability and innovation. They face huge challenges, knowing that every decision they make could impact people’s lives. Added to which, leaders of services to the public are visible and accountable “twenty-four-seven”.

In our conversations with place leaders, they tell us they want and need to think more collaboratively to solve local problems. Specifically, they seek the right tools to embed collaboration, a dedicated space that is facilitated to help partners work though ‘wicked issues’, and intelligent place-based data to activate in-depth and practical discussions between stakeholders.

For these reasons, Grant Thornton UK LLP and Collaborate CIC, alongside local authority chief executives and other place leaders have co-developed the Placemakers Programme. It convenes, supports and mentors local leaders across different sectors within a place to manage the challenges and realise the opportunities that their place offers.

The programme uses our market leading data and insights to help participants better understand place. It also draws on Collaborate’s and Grant Thornton’s skills and experience in supporting place leaders to work together effectively, in order to deliver a sustainable place-based strategy and to drive innovation.

The programme creates the experiential space for local leaders to hold the tension, forge sustainable relationships and apply the skills learned to a live challenge or opportunity. More than individual leaders, this is about leadership across a place, and we expect to find it in both the expected – and unexpected. Only through genuine, cross-sector collaboration will we see positive, community-focused change across the UK. We aim to work with places that have the courage to step boldly, together.

The programme will be co-designed by each individual place, and participants from different areas will be mentored, buddied and supported through action-learning and an online resources hub. By developing varied programmes across different places we hope to be able to share cross-sector insight and experiences between the different areas involved.

Leaders that are future-fit must take the time to reflect on what it takes to influence and curate in a complex and busy environment. Becoming a PlaceMaker doesn’t begin or end with the core programme. You will join a growing and dynamic group of learning-oriented, like-minded leaders from other places who will support, challenge, problem-solve and enjoy one another’s company through our PlaceMaker network.

The PlaceMakers community will be a ‘safe space’ to focus on personal development and leadership skills, and the programme supports those involved to:

  • develop a shared ethos
  • build relationships for change in place
  • share data and insight – enable deep analysis in a place
  • benchmark insight against national data
  • embed cross-sector place-based change and working.

We are looking for a range of places to form the first cohort of the Placemakers programmes. You may already be a person who identifies with some of the attitudes, behaviours, place intelligence and skills required to work in new ways. You may want to refresh them, perhaps acquire new insights, or develop your collaborative working skills, and work with the diverse leadership in your place.

If so, and you would like to discuss how you can get involved, please contact Alex Khaldi (07429 083769) or Guy Clifton (0771 974285) at Grant Thornton or Christine Elliott (07812 380121) or Hannah Anderson (07403 526401) at Collaborate.