England & Wales Climate action and sustainable development, Personal and organisational development

Award-winner’s corner: Iain Malcolm


Image supplied by South Tyneside Council

Place-shaping and Environment Award – Cllr Iain Malcolm

As part of our series talking to winners of LGiU’s 2018 Cllr Awards, we hear from Cllr Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council. Though he was sadly unable to attend the ceremony, Cllr Malcolm talks about his experience of winning the Place-shaping and Environment Award.

What is your proudest achievement as a councillor? 

I think it is yet to come.

The Council is almost half way through a 20 year vision to raise prosperity across South Tyneside. This will rebuild the local economy and put in place solid infrastructure for the benefit of future generations. We are creating the conditions for businesses to flourish, giving the private sector the confidence to invest here and providing residents with a high-quality built environment that we can all be proud of. Our ambitious approach to driving economic growth for South Tyneside has already seen significant levels of investment to regenerate our town centres and neighbourhoods, the creation of new cultural assets, innovative models to deliver housing for residents and national and local investment to improve our transport infrastructure.

Placemaking projects like the Foreshore, Riverside and South Shields 365 have started the transformation of South Tyneside but there is still much more still to be done. I’m not finished yet.

Which of your projects has made the biggest impact for your community?

Tourism is one of South Tyneside’s key strengths, and vital to the social and economic future of our region. Multi-million pound investment in our Foreshore has enhanced the customer experience for our visitors and created an environment for private sector growth, helping to sustain our economy in the longer term.

Tourism is worth an estimated £306 million to the borough’s economy and creates thousands of jobs. We have a packed events programme that includes those of international significance such as the Great North Run. The impact of events activity on the local economy cannot be underestimated; it draws in thousands of visitors, creates jobs for local people and puts the Borough on the map as a tourist destination of choice. Since 2010 visitor numbers have increased by 21%.

Going forward the International Advanced Manufacturing Park, the UK’s first employment-led Infrastructure Project, is expected to support more than £400m of private sector investment, creating over 7,000 jobs that over the next ten to 15 years.

What’s the highlight of your time as a councillor so far?

Winning Cooperative Council of the Year in June 2019. The strength of any place is its people – and that is what makes South Tyneside stand out.

As the third hardest hit council and with 54 per cent less government grant to spend we have had to consider new ways of working to be able to continue to provide the services we know our residents value. Our communities have really stepped up to the plate to work with us. It is our strong community spirit and incredible army of volunteers in the third sector that make South Tyneside the place that it is.

LGiU and CCLA’s Cllr Achievement Awards are the only awards celebrating the important work of councillors and the highlight of the year for elected members across England! If you know a councillor deserving of recognition for their hard work, make sure you put them forward today. For more information about the awards please check out our project page.