Mipim 2017: Lord Kerslake appointed chair of Be First

Lord Bob Kerslake has been appointed as chair of the board of development company Be First, which will spearhead Barking and Dagenham Council’s ambition to be a “regeneration giant” in London.

Lord Kerslake, who was head of the civil service from 2012 to 2014, was formally appointed to head the new commercial company at Mipim.

Be First will be operational from October and will be wholly owned by Barking and Dagenham Council with TfL and the GLA on the board. However, it will be managed by regeneration experts from the private and public sector.    

Lord Kerslake said: “Barking and Dagenham is already known as one of the capital’s hottest investment areas and promises huge opportunities for further growth. 

“I am hugely looking forward to helping Darren [Rodwell, the council leader] make sure this eastern promise is delivered for the benefit of all residents.” 

Complete by summer 2017

Appointments to the board of Be First are expected to be completed by the summer of 2017 and recruitment of a chief executive is expected by May. 

The council’s existing regeneration, planning and capital delivery staff will transfer to the new organisation under the transfer of undertakings, protection of employment regulations, during the summer. 

Darren Roswell announces that Lord Bob Kerslake has been appointed as the Chair of Be First #LondonIsOpen#MIPIM2017@lbbdcouncil @gvaviews pic.twitter.com/eKk1qWLSyV

— NLA (@nlalondon) March 14, 2017

Speaking after the announcement at Mipim, Barking and Dagenham council leader Darren Rodwell. said: “Lord Kerslake was a giant in central and local government and an expert in housing and now he will be chairing what will be regen giant. 

“Our borough is already renowned as one of London’s premier growth areas, with hugely exciting developments such as Barking Riverside and our plans for Made In Dagenham studios. But bringing in Lord Kerslake and creating Be First will put rocket boosters on our drive to make Barking and Dagenham a magnet for tens of thousands of affordable quality homes and well paid jobs for ordinary, aspirational Londoners.” 

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