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IPM appoints Iain Nicholson to further support placemakers and leaders

  • Iain will take role of Development Lead, ensuring IPM members have the support, standards and structures they need.

  • Appointment part of continued role of the professional body to define and support best practice.


30th May 2022

The Institute has welcomed a new team member to further strengthen its role as the international professional body that supports people committed to developing, managing and making places better.

Iain Nicholson, an experienced place manager and Founder of The Vacant Shops Academy, joins IPM as a Strategic Development Lead.

In what will be a part-time role, Iain will focus on building and supporting the IPM’s membership and continuing the work it is doing to develop its governance, code of conduct and standards protocols.

Building a community of placemakers

Commenting on Iain’s appointment, IPM Chair, Professor Cathy Parker, says: “We know what a complex job being a place manager and leader is, so it is great for us to be able to add another experienced practitioner to our core team. With Iain's support, IPM will continue to build our community of placemakers across different disciplines, and ensure we have the support offer they need. Alongside his work to develop The Vacant Shops Academy, Iain will also review and strengthen the Institute’s governance, code of conduct and standards protocols so that we are an exemplar on these important attributes of a professional body." 

Iain says: “Having been a member of the IPM for a number of years, I know how valuable its support is to placemakers in local councils, BIDs and a range of business, civic and community roles. I’m excited to join the core team here and to be able to focus on encouraging new colleagues to join its community and to help ensure the work that’s being done on governance, code of conduct and standards gets to where members need it to be. The IPM has been very supportive of the approach to tackling empty shops issues I’ve developed, and I’m really looking forward to being able to continue to build The Vacant Shops Academy alongside my new role.”

Iain is a former BBC radio reporter, presenter and editor who ran his own PR, communications and media training agency before focusing on placemaking. Since 2013 he has worked with town teams, Business Improvement Districts, councils and town and city centre stakeholders in a variety of places, most recently as City Centre Manger with Oxford City Council. His early assignments for the Institute include working with members to consult on and develop its response to the Government’s new Compulsory Rental Auctions power for Councils working on high street empty shops issues.


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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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