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Bill Grimsey elected as Senior Fellow of the Institute

Bill Grimsey has today been elected a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Place Management. Senior Fellowship is a recognition of an outstanding achievement and contribution to place management and leadership.

Commenting on the award Bill said “I have long been an admirer of the work that the Institute of Place Management has done over the years. I am delighted and honoured to have been elected as a Senior Fellow of the Institute and look forward to contributing in a small way, whilst amplifying the achievements of IPM members that are serving the needs of places and their communities"

Senior Fellows are elected by a unanimous decision of the Executive Board.  As authoritative voices for and within the profession, our now 14 Senior Fellows inform and advise the work of the Institute. They are world leaders in developing the concept of place management and leadership.

Bill Grimsey had a long career in leading roles with multiple retailers, working in Hong Kong, South Africa and the UK. Bringing this experience to bear, he published the first Grimsey Review in 2013, arguing that retail decline in town centres was inevitable and that high streets had to be re-invented as unique Community Hubs designed around health, education, culture, housing, leisure, art and crafts, along with some shops. A follow up report in 2018 celebrated the success that some towns were having in repurposing centres, but urged more local authorities to demonstrate the leadership required to put transformation plans in place.

These reports were widely publicised and stimulated a national debate about high streets. Local places, both in the UK and beyond, took action in line with many of the recommendations. Government commissioned other reports on the high street and together this resulted in significant funding for high streets and the establishment of the High Streets Task Force.

Bill has now published a COVID supplement that advocates empowering local communities to be responsible for the future of high streets with effective local leaders “selected for having a broad range of dynamic and collaborative skills in order to get the best out of their communities. They must embrace change in order to build back better.”.

The Senior Fellowship recognises Bill’s outstanding contribution to advancing local place leadership through these publications and his ongoing advocacy. The importance of empowering communities to have responsibility for their place, determine its purpose and make things happen through effective leadership is now much more widely understood and accepted.


About the author


Formed in 2006, the Institute of Place Management is the international professional body that supports people committed to developing, managing and making places better.

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