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Meet the Panel: Regenerating Town Centres for The Future 

Claire Whittaker

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Claire Whitaker CBE

CEO, NED, Placemaker

Southampton Forward

Claire is CEO of Southampton Forward, an independent charity with a remit across culture, including culture-led regeneration, festivals, events and tourism for the city, having previously led its shortlisted bid to be UK City of Culture.

She has combined her executive roles with a successful career as a Non-Executive Director on a range of educational, philanthropic, housing, health and charitable organisations, as well as being a member of several high-profile advisory boards.

Claire’s expertise ranges from place-based cultural regeneration, the creation and delivery of ambitious cultural events and programmes, advising companies and organisations on equality, diversity and inclusion and the development of strategic partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders. She is actively involved in policy development across culture, civil society and placemaking.

Denz Ibrahim

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Denz Ibrahim

Head of Retail and Futuring

Legal & General Real Assets

Denz Ibrahim joined Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) Real Assets in 2019 as the Head of Retail and Futuring. He has a creative background in Design and Urbanism with extensive experience in retail, placemaking and re-building the urban environment for the future. Denz is a graduate of the London School of Economics Cities Programme and was previously the Head of Special Projects at Appear Here and then the Head of Placemaking for BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Since joining LGIM Real Assets, Denz’ role has been to completely re-invent and re-think how the business considers retail, both spatially and culturally, and drives a cross-sector approach to consumer centric placemaking, curating environments, which re-connect people with places and brands. He is responsible for LGIM Real Assets thought processes as an organisation to better understand the cultural shifts in the way people live, work and play across the entirety of its consumer facing environments, delivering future fit places. Denz is a member of the LGIM Real Assets Equity Senior Leadership Team, a frequent contributor to industry journals and press, and sits on the board of Foundry, a co-working provider and business support incubator, co-founded by LGIM Real Assets in 2022. 

Howard Gunstock

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Adam Walker

Co-Founder & Entrepreneur


Adam Walker is the co-founder of the co-working space. Adam is a skilled entrepreneur with more than 24 years’ business experience specialising in technology, property development and regeneration.

His latest venture, FOUNDRY, first launched in Eastbourne in 2022 then Poole in Spring 2023. The third location, Walthamstow is due to open in Autumn 2023.

Adam is passionate for FOUNDRY to build community. His goal is to bring a wealth of talented people together in each location that want to grow their business alongside entrepreneurs on the same growth trajectory.

Adam additionally co-founded Indoor Games, a coin operated and gaming machine supply business, in 1999 at just 19 years old and the company continues to thrive today. Adam is also director at Re:curate, a multi-disciplinary real estate consultancy that specialises in strategic regeneration, place, design and activation.

With his years of expertise in the real estate industry, Adam works collaboratively to re-imagine, re-purpose and re-position underperforming and overlooked urban assets.

Debbie Oldfield

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Debbie Oldfield

Designing-out Crime Officer

Dorset Police

Debbie has worked for Dorset Police for 34 years and is an experienced Crime Prevention/Designing Out Crime Officer.

Debbie works with local planning officers, architects, builders and developers, to adopt the principles of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) and SBD (Secured By Design) in the planning of new buildings, developments and regeneration projects. She also works with local Neighbourhood Policing Teams and partner agencies to identify and target hot spot locations, utilising problem solving techniques, target hardening and identification of any contributing environmental features. 

Tom Alder

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Tom Alder 

Partner, Head of Real Estate 

Lester Aldridge

Tom is an experienced planning lawyer who deals with a wide range of planning issues, both contentious and non-contentious, on behalf of developer clients regionally and nationally. Tom’s key focus is the house-building sector (both market and retirement sector), advising on residential or residential-led mixed-use schemes.

He has considerable experience in contentious planning work, representing clients in planning appeals and High Court legal challenges. Additionally, Tom is responsible for a niche practice advising ports and marinas regarding operational agreements and statutory consents.

Premier Festival Partner

Lester Aldridge

Festival Partners