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IPM launches CPD courses in Place Management and Leadership

“Even before we went into lockdown our high streets were facing an existential crisis. It’s not just their survival that’s at stake. Questions need to be asked about their very purpose.”

Bill Grimsey, Senior Fellow of the Institute of Place Management.

COVID-19 has brought large-scale disruption to our towns, cities and neighbourhoods. Many trends have been accelerated but new trends have emerged. Place management and leadership is now seen as the key component in the successful recovery and transformation of places. Whilst funding, planning and other technical specialisms (like planning and design) are important, places need committed people to inspire, collaborate and coordinate action. Now, more than ever.

Despite place leadership being widely talked about as a foundation to transforming places - it is poorly understood. We are asking people to be place leaders without explaining what it is and why it matters. That is why the Institute is launching a programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) defining what it means to be a successful place leader in the #buildbackbetter era.

For over 15 years, the Institute of Place Management has been at the cutting-edge of researching place management and leadership. We run the successful MSc in Place Management and Leadership, edit the international Journal of Place Management and Development, lead the High Streets Task Force, for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and work with hundreds of local authorities, BIDs and other place management partnerships.

The new CPD courses will be led by IPM trio Professor Cathy Parker, Dr Steve Millington and Simon Quin, who have unrivalled knowledge in Place Management and Leadership. They will also bring in the expertise of recognised practitioners as guest speakers. The CPD courses consist of a one-day masterclass in Place Leadership, as well as a more in-depth short course ‘Principles of Place Management and Leadership’, which is studied part-time over 4 months.

Given the current restrictions, both courses are only available to study on-line.

Place Leadership One-Day Masterclass

Description and content

The challenges for high streets, town and city centres have been mounting for some years but COVID has accelerated the pace of change. The aim of this one-day masterclass is to strengthen the knowledge and capacity of local leaders from local authorities, BIDs, business and the wider community to become effective place leaders who can stimulate recovery and initiate transformation. The masterclass will define place leadership, share the behaviours and values associated with effective place leaderships as well as explore the practices and strategies that can transform places.

This masterclass will explore the different styles of leadership and strategies within the context of places, critically evaluating differing techniques and case studies from across the sector.

The masterclass will cover key topical debates and questions such as:

  • What is place leadership?
  • What are the characteristics of a good place leader?
  • Why is place leadership important in the management and transformation of places?
  • Strategies and frameworks for place transformation (e.g. the 4Rs: Repositioning, Reinventing, Rebranding and Restructuring)
  • The role of place leadership in good governance, collaboration and partnership working

Date: Thursday 21st January 2021

Time: 10-4pm

Delivery Method: Online (Zoom webinar and breakouts)

Cost: £100, £300 for non-members

Click here to register your interest for the one-day masterclass in place leadership


Short course - Principles of Place Management and Leadership

Description and content

Directly linked to our taught MSc in Place Management and Leadership, this short course introduces you to the fundamentals of place management and leadership from an interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder perspective. It will be delivered over a 4-month period, with tailored support and bespoke resources to support you with your study. The course content will be delivered via week-by-week seminars online and will cover:

  • Place leadership – including the one-day Masterclass in Place Leadership (21st January 2021) as well as individual skills assessment and development
  • Strategy, visioning and planning
  • Stakeholder engagement, community participation
  • Principles of good governance
  • Place management organisations and structures
  • Managing urban development and change
  • Crisis management

Students will be expected to complete two assignments, and, upon successful completion are eligible to continue their studies with advanced standing on one of our postgraduate programmes (Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Masters of Science in Place Management and Leadership).


Dates: January – May 2021

Times: Full day masterclass (21st January), and evening seminars

Delivery method: Online, with all sessions recorded and available for catch up

Cost: £1500 (Course applicants must be IPM members)

Click here to register your interest for the short course in place management and leadership


Who are these courses suitable for?

These courses are suitable for anyone who is responsible for making or managing change in places. If you have never studied place management and leadership formally, we strongly recommend that you enrol on one of these CPD courses. Place management and leadership is complicated – it’s difficult – so you can benefit from the extensive research and understanding the IPM has developed, over many years and across many different types of places - both within the UK and beyond.

Applicants for the course may be working in the following fields:

  • LAs officers, executives and elected members
  • BID executives, directors, employees and board members
  • Local community leaders
  • Local business leaders
  • Place management professionals and consultants
  • Local, regional and national policymakers
  • Entry career professionals looking to further knowledge in place management

Learning about “Place Management and Leadership provided me with new insights and skills to tackle a broad range of place related challenges from factors that influence the vitality and viability of towns through to stakeholder management and place marketing.”

Judith Walker – Director of Eutopia Strategy

I would thoroughly recommend the course to any place manager who wants to broaden their knowledge and understanding of place. I felt that although I had plenty of experience from my previous work and my years as town manager, the course has given me the confidence that I have the knowledge and expertise and I look forward to developing them further through my membership of the IPM.”

Steph James – Maidenhead Town Manager

For further details and how to apply for the course please contact or phone 07570799219. 






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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