08 April 2019


U+I image

U+I, the specialist regeneration developer and investor, has today announced the appointment of Prof. Sadie Morgan, the award-winning designer and co-founder of dRMM architects, as a new independent non-executive director.

Prof. Morgan will have board oversight of the company’s commitments to ensure its PPP schemes work for the benefit of all. This role will also take responsibility for overseeing an employee advisory panel, reporting to the board on employee engagement and assist in the establishment of an internal design panel which will review and challenge the company’s commitment to design excellence

Prof. Morgan’s appointment to the board is effective from 1 April 2019 and she will also serve on the company’s remuneration and nomination committees.

PPP commitments to fostering community engagement

This new NED role will be responsible at a board level for holding U+I to account for the commitments it has made on community engagement in PPP projects. These commitments were announced in November 2018 after a year-long consultation on PPP and, in addition to the appointment of a new non-executive director, they include:

• Establishing an independent Community Challenge Panel which will oversee how U+I’s PPP schemes are delivered, ensuring the company meets the socio-economic standards it has set itself in delivering for the community, from completion and then over a five-year period.
• Setting up a Community Engagement Fund: on all its major PPP schemes, U+I will set aside a specific budget through a Planning Performance Agreement so that community organisations and representatives are better equipped to engage more effectively in the planning process.
• Putting in place a Community Profit Share Arrangement: the company will share any profit it makes over an agreed projected return with the relevant public partner and local community.

These commitments were warmly welcomed at the time by local government minister, Rishi Sunak, who said: 'I welcome this group’s effort to establish what best practice PPP looks like and to hold itself to account.'

Commenting on the appointment, U+I chief executive Matthew Weiner said: 'Sadie brings not only a hugely impressive track record of achievement in the world of design, but more importantly a deep-rooted commitment to the principles of community and inclusion. She shares our vision and commitment to social purpose and I am confident she will hold us to account with both rigour and enthusiasm.'

Mr Weiner went on to say: 'Sadie’s hinterland - her experience of building and managing talent in her own business and her role as chair of the independent design panel for High Speed 2, means that she is uniquely qualified to work with us in these three key areas of; community, people, and design excellence.'

Prof. Morgan said: 'I am delighted to be taking on this ground-breaking role. I was brought up in a co-operative community in Kent that had been set up by my grandfather, and so I grew up with a real sense of inclusion, purpose, community and responsibility. This appointment allows me to help U+I turn those beliefs and commitments into action involving what will, I am sure, be major schemes of huge importance to the communities involved.'

Prof. Morgan is a founding director of dRMM Architects and Stirling prize winner. And she is Professor of professional practice at Westminster University. She chairs the Independent Design Panel for High Speed 2, reporting directly to the Secretary of State, and is one of ten commissioners for the National Infrastructure Commission. Prof. Morgan is also one of the Mayor’s Design Advocates for the Greater London Authority.

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