Urban Regeneration Consultants

24th July 2019 
Selected Assignments
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Profile of Cedar Global / TPLA Team

TPLA has an experienced team under Dr Seeff's management. Following his qualification as a chartered accountant and his research degree at Birmingham University, in which he examined decision making and the measurement of effectiveness, Geoff decided to pursue a career in management consulting. He trained with Coopers & Lybrand in its London and Tehran offices, moving to the consultancy arm of accountants, Stoy Hayward, where he was a director for 13 years until the formation of TPLA. Between July 1986 and December 1987 he was on secondment to the Inner Cities Division of the Department of The Environment (as it then was) as Head of the Grants Appraisal Unit. From this experience he acquired knowledge of regeneration policies and practice at that time and developed an expertise in the principles and operation of the various funding regimes available for urban regeneration.

In 1990 he entered into a joint venture with Widnell to form TPLA and a key (but not exclusive) focus was physical regeneration via the development of property serving the tourism, leisure and cultural industries. Much of his own work involved managing the technical and commercial assessments of major projects for public sector bodies and advising on risks and risk management. In the period up to the acquisition of Widnell by Currie & Brown in 2000 he was responsible for in excess of 60 appraisals for grant aid applications submitted to development corporations, SRB and City Challenge organisations and English Partnerships (eg Victoria Quays, Sheffield; Great Northern Warehouse Manchester; the Regional Sports Complex, Trafford Park; Reedswood Park, Walsall; Bede Island North, Leicester) and for the assessment and project monitoring of over 50 lottery funded projects including concert halls, galleries, theatres, centres for the performing arts and museums (eg Tate Modern., London; the Stables, Wavendon; the Horniman Museum, London; The London Transport Museum, London and the controversial Harbourside Concert Hall, Bristol).

Other key multi-disciplinary assignments during this period included project management of the procurement under BOT of a 300 bedroom 4 star hotel at the main terminal of the New Athens International Airport, including the preparation of specifications, concession agreements and tender documents, the review of the effectiveness of ERDF in the UK for the European Commission; market and commercial advice to the Department of the Environment as part of the evaluation of the design and development proposals for Manchester’s Olympic (eventually the Commonwealth Games) Stadium; a tourism planning study for Sabah State, North Borneo with emphasis on sustainable development and a development options study in connection with a dispute over a substantial estate in the Caribbean; He also appeared as an expert witness on the economics and funding of urban regeneration in several planning inquiries (eg Victoria Quays, Sheffield).

At Currie & Brown he became head of public sector and regeneration consulting, supervising appraisal and monitoring work for inter alia the Arts Council England, the National Heritage Lottery Fund the Big Lottery Fund, Defra and a number of regeneration agencies. He advised on, either personally or supervised, all stages of the delivery of some of the largest and most complex of the schemes coming forward including inter alia the 100+ million Gateshead Quays development (Sage Concert Hall and Baltic ICA), the 100 million Royal Shakespeare Company theatre redevelopment, the 100 million refurbishment of the South Bank Centre, and the controversial 50 million pUBLIC arts centre and Turner Gallery in Margate. He advised on many other smaller projects that have now reached completion. Other assignments in this period include acting as lead of the technical advisory team advising the Government of Greece on its proposal to procure the development of 300+ property projects under PFI, acting as an expert witness on public funding for urban regeneration in two cases of dispute on land values involving major development sites (Park Royal and the Greenwich Peninsula) and undertaking a number of economic and technical feasibility studies for projects in Europe and the Far East.

Between July 2003 and July 2006 he was a non-executive partner for Improvement Islington, a company between contractors United House, Hyde Housing Association and HBOS contracted to refurbish and manage some 7,500 street properties under PFI with the London Borough of Islington. This pathfinder project was considerably more difficult than originally envisaged and the Board had to address some very complex technical and financial issues.

Since TPLA joined the Cedar Global Group, Dr Seeff has undertaken assignments for the World Bank in Jordan, where he advised on the development of the country's Public Private Partnership programme, and in Turkey, where he advised on the delivery of regeneration projects in areas at high risk of earthquakes and flood. He has acted for the European Investment Bank as lender's technical adviser on a major education Public Private Partnership project in Greece and on various development projects funded through JESSICA. Other work includes undertaking market and financial feasibility studies for mixed use regeneration schemes in various parts of the UK and technical and financial due diligence for commercial funders and investors in major property development schemes in UK and in continental Europe

Dr Seeff he is a member of the committee of the Faculty of Finance and Management of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Between July 2003 and June 2005 he served as the Deputy Chairman. In this period, apart from involvement in the Faculty’s development strategy and normal duties, he was responsible for inter alia arranging and speaking at a high level debate with business leaders and a government minister on Corporate Social Responsibility, chairing a number of seminars and members’ meetings, including presenting a lecture on an introduction to PFI, and contributing articles on PFI and Corporate Social Responsibility for publication in the Faculty’s monthly magazine.

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