Woods Hardwick Planning Director joins Centre for the New Midlands Housing & Communities Leadership Board

This week the Centre for the New Midlands announced the first appointments to their Housing and Communities Leadership Board. Woods Hardwick’s Birmingham Planning Director, Paul Woods, is delighted to be one of the inaugural Board members. 

The Board, to be chaired by Dr Halima Sacranie (Research Lead, Housing and Communities Research Group at the University of Birmingham), will be responsible for shaping the Centre for the New Midlands’ work across this hugely important area of public policy.

Paul is in good company, with other Board members including:

  • Afzal Hussain (Chief Officer at Witton Lodge Community Association) 
  • Alan Fraser (formerly CEO of YMCA Heart of England and now an independent housing consultant)
  • Dr Halima Sacranie 
  • Sam Scharf (Director of Housing and Customer Services at Central and Cecil Housing Association)
  • Vanessa Pritchard-Wilkes (Head of Strategic Engagement, Housing 21) 
  • Dr Steven McCabe (Associate Professor at Birmingham City University).

Paul Woods explains:

“The housing and communities agenda forms a key part of the ambitious plans for growth of the West Midlands over the coming years.  The Centre for the New Midlands and the new Housing and Communities Board, will be pivotal in providing independent and strategic thought leadership to help frame the debate on the challenges and opportunities ahead and we look forward to being involved, particularly looking at how we create a sustainable and inclusive planning system for the future and supporting the green agenda.”

This news comes as the Centre for the New Midlands hosted an event in Coventry last night (7th September) celebrating the launch of regional networking group, ‘Reimagining the Region’. Hosted by the BBC’s Phil Upton and with guest speaker, Andy Street, CBE (Mayor of the West Midlands), the event was well attended and took place at Kagool’s new offices at One Friargate in the City centre. The Mayor outlined the key challenges and opportunities for the Midlands as it emerges from the pandemic, including the importance of education and ensuring the region’s workforce has the right skills to drive economic growth.  The evening provided a great opportunity for the group to meet and swap thoughts and ideas, setting the scene for future events.


Building on the strong foundations fostered over 50 years from their head office in Bedford, Woods Hardwick is focused on growing the business across the Midlands, having also recently opened a new office in central London. In the last five years the company has grown, supporting developers, land promoters, house builders and land owners across the UK through the development process. With services include architecture, urban design, civil engineering, town planning, transport planning, and land surveying. 


Find out more about the Centre for the New Midlands

Speak to Paul Woods about your project or planning requirements.