The power of partnership in driving long-term, area-wide regeneration

01.02.24 5 min read by Tom Webber

Successful long-term partnerships work. And importantly they deliver for the communities they serve and represent.

At Muse, we understand that the journey to transform a community is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires commitment and significant investment of time to transform and enhance a place.

Over the last decade, we have forged enduring, stable partnerships across the North West in diverse places such as Stockport, Salford, and Warrington, leaving a positive legacy on their landscapes, people and communities. This enduring commitment to collaboration has not only changed the fortunes of these places and their wider perception, it demonstrates that effective long-term partnerships improve the lives of local people.

In recent years, we are delighted to see Stockport and Salford receiving national recognition for their place-based regeneration strategies. For us, this recognition is no surprise as we have witnessed and played our part in the committed partnerships that are at the heart of this success.

New Bailey, Salford Central, Salford
Salford Central

No quick fixes, just lasting change

Regeneration is not a quick fix; it is a transformative journey that requires the collective effort of multiple partners and the community. As we work through the challenges of a project together, it’s clear that through combined effort, we’re not just investing in physical structures, we’re fostering positive change and prosperity. Building relationships and empowering key stakeholders to have a voice in how their neighbourhoods are regenerated is vital to great placemaking. True engagement can change lives and the future prospects of a place.

Partnerships: The DNA of successful regeneration

Partnerships are the foundation of our approach, woven into the DNA of our organisation. A survey of successful regeneration projects nationwide reveals a common thread — nearly all have been accomplished through effective partnerships. At Muse, our collaboration with long-term partners in the public and private sectors has exemplified the strength that emanates when diverse expertise work toward a common goal. Strong leadership and a bold vision that people can buy into are an essential ingredient to igniting the partnership and maintaining momentum towards delivery.

Mackie Mayor, Northern Quarter, Manchester
Mackie Mayor, Manchester

Unveiling the Identity: deep understanding and complexity

To regenerate successfully, you must first understand the place — its strengths, opportunities and unique identity. Our towns across the region are incredibly diverse places and we really need to draw out what makes these places so unique and enhance on what is already there. Stockport, for instance, is one of the North West’s most vibrant and exciting towns with bespoke regeneration plans for its historic and iconic Underbanks. Our approach is to ensure that what we do enhances these assets. We have set out to achieve a deep understanding before a spade ever touches the ground, and this was much easier to achieve through our strong partnership with Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.

Stockport Exchange, Stockport
Stockport Exchange

The pillars of success: trust, communication, and adaptability

Regeneration is complex and time-consuming, necessitating collaboration, listening and sensitivity to unlock its full potential. Understanding the needs and challenges of all stakeholders, coupled with open communication, builds a foundation for collaboration.

The ability to confront brutal facts, adapt strategies when needed, and a relentless commitment to leadership and vision are essential components of overcoming challenges in the regeneration process.

Every time we’ve come up against problems and challenges we’ve moved through them, bringing the expertise of Muse alongside the expertise of the council.”

Caroline Simpson, Chief Executive, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council


Belief in the vision and our passion to create change, drive us. Rigorous day-to-day efforts, a focus on excelling at the basics, and a commitment to embracing innovation has led to strong and trusting partnerships at Muse that have lasted decades.

Our generational commitment to places like Stockport, Salford, and Warrington showcase the transformative power of collaboration, resilience, and shared vision. As we continue to embrace change and foster enduring partnerships, the ripple effect of regeneration reaches far beyond physical structures, leaving a lasting legacy of prosperity and community revitalisation for the towns and cities we work in.

People enjoying public space at Time Square, Warrington
Time Square, Warrington

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