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Mark Gregory Appointed Centre For Towns Director

The Centre For Towns is proud to announce and welcome Mark Gregory, Chief Economist at EY (UK) and member of the UK Government’s Trade Advisory Group on Investment, as its 4th Director. 

Mark Gregory joins the Centre For Towns with over 30 years’ experience as a business economist in over 40 countries, advising governments and industry on economics, policy and regulation. 

With over 30 years working as a business economist in the UK and internationally, Mark Gregory is a leading voice on the UK economy and will bring an understanding of how best to engage the corporate sector in addressing the unique challenges facing our towns. 


Mark will work alongside Lisa Nandy MP, Professor Will Jennings and Ian Warren in making the case for our towns as the UK navigates the economic and political fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In his new role, Mark will Chair the newly established Centre for Towns’ Advisory Board. 

The Advisory Board will support the Centre For Towns explore and identify the best approaches for driving sustainable improvements across the whole of the UK. 

The Board is comprised of academics, analysts and activists with acknowledged expertise and experience of the needs of our towns, public attitudes and better public policy.  

Members of the Advisory Board include Kirsty Devlin, Professor Rob Ford, Professor Donna Hall, Professor Cathy Parker, Dr Marianne Sensier, and David Skelton. 

Lisa Nandy, Labour MP for Wigan and co-founder of the Centre For Towns, said:

This is a critical moment for Britain when old ways of thinking have been called into question and people across the country are starting to rethink the way we live and work. 

We’re delighted to welcome Mark to the Board of Directors as we make the case for a new and reformed country that works for all of our communities, large or small.

Mark Gregory said:

“I believe this is the perfect time to be joining the Centre for Towns and I am very excited about working with both the team and members of the Advisory Board to identify practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to improve the economic and social outlook for our towns. 

I am very grateful to EY for allowing me the flexibility to combine roles”

Commenting on the creation of the Advisory Board, Professor Cathy Parker, said: 

“Towns are facing challenges of a magnitude that was unimaginable even just 12 months ago.  

Understanding these problems and proposing solutions needs the interdisciplinary, collegiate and fresh thinking that Mark, the Centre for Towns and its Advisory Board can bring.”

Professor Donna Hall added:

"At New Local we have long admired the research work of Centre for Towns since its inception. Innovative championing of a new economic model has never been more important."

Dr Marianne Sensier said:

"City deals and austerity over the last 10 years have left towns falling further behind. Genuine investment is needed across the country to make the "levelling up" rhetoric a reality.  

I am looking forward to advising the Centre for Towns on future projects."


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