Chris took up post as Director of the Core Cities Group in 2006. Core Cities Group is a collaboration between the eight cities in England that sit at the centre of the largest economic areas outside London, focused on economic and social policy, increasing competitiveness and working with Government to negotiate the devolution of power and resource to drive this agenda. The Core Cities are Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.
Chris is has recently been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Prime Ministers’ Regeneration Investment Organisation, aimed at increasing overseas investment into urban regeneration, and is a board member and advisor to a number of other urban and public sector advisory bodies.
He is also the Chairman of award-winning social enterprise company Fusion21, an intelligent procurement organisation that recycles profits into training unemployed people and helping them into work. Prior to this he has had a long association with economic development, regeneration, culture and public policy.
Chris occasionally undertakes international work in addition to his duties.He has previously worked in several EU countries and has more recently worked in Korea in relation to their national regeneration strategy, and with Eastern European cities.
A member of the national Egan Task Force on Skills, during 2005 Chris was seconded to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to establish the Academy for Sustainable Communities, a national regeneration skills agency based in Leeds.
In 2002 he was appointed as a Director of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the Government’s watchdog for urban design. Before this Chris worked in local government for 10 years, establishing the UK’s first local authority cultural planning unit in Milton Keynes, responsible for economic, cultural and some urban development in the new town and outlying rural areas.
He writes and presents extensively on subjects connected with his work and broad interests, publishing one book and contributed to others. He was Lead Advisor to the Arts Council of England on regeneration and sustainable communities, ran a working group for the Department of Culture Media and Sport on the Creative Economy.