Sarah Hughes, Optimising Assets Executive Officer
Sarah supports the Optimising Assets Group and the Place Board and works closely with Simon Marks, the Board Director, for the Place agenda. Sarah also supports two Task and Finish Groups, focussing on developing strategies for Housing and Towns and Local Centres in the area.
Tell me about your role?
My role is focussed on the regeneration of towns and local centres across the GBSLEP patch, as well as housing, connectivity, and spatial planning. I’m new to the area, so I’m still getting to know the geography of the LEP, but I’m really enjoying my time here.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
It’s a very varied role and some days I’ll be working on major strategic projects and other days I’ll be focussed on a small scheme in a town centre – I enjoy that variety. It’s also great that I get to go out and meet people and see the projects that they’re working on and the LEP is funding, as that helps me to understand exactly how the LEP can make a difference to the city region .
What did you study at university and why?
I actually started at University on a physical geography course because I was really interested in plate tectonics (I know!), but after a term I switched to urban regeneration. I’m from Liverpool, and the city was at a very low ebb at the time that I was an undergraduate, and I became really interested in how the urban environment could be improved for the benefit of local people. That interest and motivation has stayed with me throughout my career.
If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?
As this is a fantasy, I’ll pick someone who’s dead – Arthur C Clarke. I would love to talk to him about his classic sci-fi novel, ‘Childhood’s End’ – it’s haunted me since the first time I read it, even though the technology in it seems very dated now. If it had to be someone who’s alive, I’d probably go for a novelist like Ann Leckie, so I could talk all things feminist and political with her.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
To be able to teleport – it would certainly make my commute more manageable!