Richard Cowell, Assistant Director, Development, Birmingham City Council
Birmingham City Council
Assistant Director, Development
Richard is a built environment professional with over 15 years of experience in urban planning, regeneration, property and economic development.
Working at the largest local authority in the UK Richard has, since 2010, held key positions leading the formulation and subsequent delivery of the City’s ambitious growth agenda including one of the UK’s most significant city transformation projects, Birmingham’s Big City Plan.
Richard’s senior leadership, strategic decision-making and technical expertise have underpinned accelerated development and investment activity across Birmingham.
As a senior Director, Richard leads a multidisciplinary team of 100 professional staff and manages an annual capital budget of £50 million and £5 million revenue.
His day to day responsibilities include that of the deputy Chief Planning Officer overseeing the development planning process; developing and implementing financial models to support infrastructure investment in the City with the £1bn Enterprise Zone Investment Plan; maximising growth associated with High Speed 2; supporting SMEs to grow and accelerate with grant and Ioan finance; and setting the policy framework for design across the City.
His work includes leading complex development projects, including the £1.5bn Birmingham Smithfield redevelopment scheme; and working with the private sector and other public agencies to create effective partnerships and enduring collaborative working relationships.
He is active in advancing knowledge and understanding of urban planning, regeneration and infrastructure delivery through lectures at Universities, regular presentations at regional, national and international events and as a mentor to a number of graduates.