Waheed Nazir, Birmingham City Council’s director of planning & regeneration, who has been instrumental in the transformation of the city, has been appointed as acting Strategic Director for Economy for the next 12 months with immediate effect.
In his new role, as well as leading on the delivery of planning and regeneration, transportation, skills and employment, Waheed will also become a member of the corporate leadership team, supporting and driving the Future Council improvement programme.
Waheed has worked with the city council for over 15 years in various economic development roles. As the director of planning and regeneration, Waheed has been responsible for: overseeing the Big City Plan, a 20 year vision to encourage and drive the continued transformation of a world class city centre; the Birmingham Development Plan, the statutory framework which will guide decisions on development and regeneration in Birmingham up to 2031; and the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan, which sets out the council’s aspirations for the new HS2 terminus station and the wider regeneration potential of what will be one of the biggest urban regeneration schemes in the UK.
Waheed said: “It is a real privilege to take up this interim post and I am delighted to have the opportunity to further contribute to shaping the strategic direction of the city and remain committed to directing transformational change across the city.
“With responsibility for planning, regeneration, housing, skills and transportation, I am excited by the prospect of bringing these key interconnected priorities together, as it is only by building sufficient homes, creating a skilled workforce and delivering an effective transport system, supported by a clear vision for the future, that we will maximise opportunities for the city and the wider region to drive forward economic growth.
“I am also looking forward to working at the most senior level in the city council and making my contribution to the corporate improvement and change priorities. Similarly, it will be exciting to continue the work with all our partners and the people of Birmingham to build on our recent successes.”
Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy said: “Waheed has a huge amount of experience and has been central in driving through the regeneration of Birmingham. I have already said that this not just about the city centre but about regenerating all 40 wards, improving people’s skills and access to employment, transport and good quality housing. Building more houses more quickly is my priority and I will be working closely with Waheed and his team as we continue to ensure Birmingham is leading the way in this area while at the same time encouraging businesses to invest here and make the city an attractive place to live, work and visit.”
Chief executive Mark Rogers said: “Waheed has a wealth of experience in driving forward economic growth and has been instrumental in shaping new and exciting approaches to regeneration across the city; he will be a valued member of our new leadership team.”
The council’s leadership team has been strengthened and reshaped as part of the response to the Kerslake review which identified the need to build more capacity at strategic level in the organisation.