Chris Gregory, a member of the Institute of Place Management, has worked as a Town Centre Management practitioner for over 15 years within a number of diverse locations. As a Town Centre Manager and a Business Improvement District (BID) Director, Chris has developed and led award winning projects including events, marketing campaigns and place management plans and maintains a cutting edge knowledge of the industry. An accredited Business Trainer, Chris has strong links with the Association of Town & City Management, having been a member for over 15 years and having served as both Regional Chair and Secretary of the Association.
“Our biggest challenge is arguably the lack of knowledge & understanding about our profession”
Chris Gregory, you are currently director of Heartflood Town Centre Management Ltd. What exactly does the company do?
Chris Gregory: Heartflood basically offer a place management advisory & delivery role focused on towns, cities and Business Improvement Districts. We work for a number of clients in a number of locations and no two days are ever the same, which is exactly how we like it !
We have to explain our field of work almost every working day, which can become quite frustrating !
You’ve worked in Place Management in various locations for almost 20 years now. What do you think are the main challenges that Place Managers face?
Chris Gregory: I think that, aside from the day-to-day challenges, which most Place Managers are very adept at responding to, our biggest challenge is arguably the lack of knowledge & understanding about our profession. We have to explain our field of work almost every working day, which can become quite frustrating !
“There is currently work to do in bringing the players within our industry a little closer together”
Do you find that the profession has evolved substantially? If yes, in what direction?
Chris Gregory: I think that it has involved – although in many, often disparate, directions, which adds another layer of challenge and complexity to our role. Anybody who knows me is aware that I probably become too passionate about this subject, as I feel that there is currently work to do in bringing the players within our industry a little closer together !
You have been involved in several Digital High Street commissions. Can you tell us more about these projects?
Chris Gregory: Basically helping small businesses the fundamentals of digital skills – from websites to e-commerce & social media and everything in between. This is usually carried out with a very broad & practical focus, which is handy, as I’m no IT expert !
“I am now inspired to play a much more active role in being part of the IPM”
You are a member of the Institute of Place Management. What do you expect from such an organization?
Chris Gregory: I wouldn’t have been able to answer this properly a few months ago, although I have just embarked on the MSc in Place Management & Leadership and the IPM have already exceeded my expectations in terms of their professional and academic work within our industry – and I am now inspired to play a much more active role in being part of the IPM !
The interview was conducted by Ares Kalandides