Director of Development & Corporate Estate - Manchester City Council


Collingwood has worked successfully with Manchester City Council to recruit the Director of Development and Corporate Estates. Collingwood was recommended to the council by an industry leading developer and a global consultancy. MCC is regarded as one of the most progressive councils within the UK, this is evident through the ongoing transformation Manchester is experiencing and its success over the last decade.


The post was a newly created position following a review of the senior management. The main purpose of the role was the responsibility for the strategic management of the development function and corporate landlord role including responsibility for the facilities management service. Leading on development activity for the council with the aim of establishing the city as a major economic and cultural centre both in the UK and internationally. The successful candidate would become a key player in either leading or supporting key economic residential, sporting and cultural initiatives, including Manchester Place and Manchester Life, Airport City, St.John’s, Northern Gateway, Central Park, The Etihad Complex, The Sharp and The Space Projects and many more.

Collingwood’s brief was to source a candidate with a strong presence who would inspire, mentor and coach the team, whilst at the same time develop and drive strategy and manage internal & external stakeholder relationships. Due to the high profile nature of the role, it required an individual with extensive experience in the property sector covering property development (commercial and residential), asset management and facilities management.


Through a detailed research approach and contact with his existing network, Simon was able to share the “landscape” of senior developers in numerous markets, across the whole of the UK. Simon’s approach led to more than 250 potential candidates to engage with.

Due to the numbers involved it was imperative that we maintained a close partnership with the client, offering regular updates on the progress of the assignment. Management information reports and conference calls were exchanged regularly to keep both the search and expectations on track. This was invaluable as it allowed both parties to form a realistic view of market conditions, barriers and any refinements needed to be made to the specification.


Following numerous conversations, 15 candidates were interviewed, of which 6 were ‘shortlisted’, following preliminary interviews, 3 progressed to the final stage.

The successful candidate started in the role on the 31st July 2017, to date the client's feedback on the candidate is exceptional.