Civic House Studio Member Profile: James Bryson, Placeshapers

4 May 2023

James Bryson has been one of Civic House Studio’s regular Hot Deskers since joining at the end of 2022.

Can you tell us who you are and what you do?

Hi. I’m James, I lead on policy and public affairs for PlaceShapers, the national network of place-based housing organisations. We advocate for the importance of social housing, and the role local housing organisations play in placemaking and supporting communities. I have had a few different jobs in social housing, but have been working in policy for a few years now. My main focus is on how housing can support those in need and enable the regeneration of deprived areas, with particular attention on creating affordable and sustainable places to live. I’ll actually be starting a new job at the Chartered Insitute of Housing soon to lead on policy related to regional inequality.

What are the best bits about your job?

As I work for a national network of community organisations, I focus on the national impact of community projects. I really enjoy getting to focus on the ‘big’ and ‘little’ picture. Because of this I get to find out about amazing housing projects happening up and down the country. Recent trips have taken me to see state-of-the-art supported housing in Preston, award-winning community owned housing in Bristol and the famous Byker estate in Newcastle.

What attracted you to Civic House Studio Coworking space as a base for your work?

As a remote worker, I had been working from home for two and a half years so had been on the lookout for a co-working space for a while. When I came across Civic House it suited me perfectly. It’s lovely to meet all the different people who work here and learn about what they do, some with a similar focus to mine and others who do something completely different. Plus, the space is beautiful and such a relaxed and welcoming environment to work in.

With more and more people working remotely or a hybrid style, I think places like Civic House are so valuable. I moved to Glasgow 18 months ago, but my work has been mainly focused on England. Civic House means I still get to see people on a daily basis and can separate work from homelife. It certainly beats squeezing a desk in the corner of your living room!

Can you tell us about what sorts of professional – or otherwise!- plans are brewing in 2023?

I am about to start a new job at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), so I’m sure I’ll be busy getting up to speed with that over the next few months. The CIH have more of a UK-wide focus, so I’m really looking forward to getting to know more about housing projects happening across Glasgow and Scotland. And I’m still planning on using Civic House as my primary work space!

Where can we find out more?

You can find more about PlaceShapers on their website. And I’ll be joining the CIH policy team who have a good Twitter account if you’re interested in detailed housing policy analysis (who isn’t!?).
I also have a Twitter account for work, you can follow me there – but I only tweet about once every 3 months!