Reflecting on UKREiiF 2024

UKREiiF, the Real Estate and Investment Infrastructure Forum, wrapped up last Friday after three days of panel sessions, networking socials and round table discussions that brought together over 12,000 property professionals from every area of Real Estate, including fellow developers, investors, funders, housing providers, government and more, with every core UK city and region involved.

The event powered through rainy forecasts and provided a great platform to connect with key decision makers and hear the expertise of a wide range of industry professionals, which showcased the scale of development progress and profile of future investment opportunities in the UK.

UKREiiF was held in Leeds, in some of its most distinctive venues, creating an engaging and dynamic atmosphere for discussions, networking, and talks. The range of venues not only showcased the city's rich architectural heritage but also highlighted the importance of integrating unique spaces into urban planning. These venues provided the perfect backdrop for attendees to exchange ideas and explore new opportunities.

Manchester took over a standout space on Leeds Dock, The Canary, as a base for events and meetings. Chancellor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, opened the area with a welcome reception, including an inspiring talk representing Manchester, along with Shravan Joshi representing London. Chancellor Bev was also representing Manchester in a brilliant session on ‘Strategic Place Partnerships: Going for Growth’ where Manchester was at front and centre. And throughout the whole forum, Manchester's pioneering approach to strategic place partnerships was a recurring theme. These collaborations are pivotal in driving forward sustainable development projects that meet the needs of both residents and businesses.

Another key theme from UKREiiF was the indispensable role of both public and private partnerships in the success of developing cities. Northern Group recognise that combining the strengths of both sectors to deliver exceptional results is highly beneficial to everyone involved. From large-scale regeneration projects to community-focused developments, these partnerships are crucial for creating resilient and vibrant urban environments.

There was also a huge focus on the use of energy efficient measures and sustainability within homes and transport. Hestia Homes hosted a great roundtable lunch that discussed investing in retrofitting homes with energy efficient measures, permitting older homes to be upgraded with modern insulation, heating systems, and energy-efficient windows, significantly reducing energy consumption, not only lowering utility bills for residents but also enhancing overall comfort, making homes more sustainable and cost-effective in the long run, contributing towards global efforts to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions and creating a greener future.

It was great to see many familiar faces and form new connections with fellow attendees, some of which were recognisable from MIPIM, the global Real Estate festival in Cannes, that we attended earlier this year. While MIPIM offered a broader international scope (and much better weather!), UKREiiF stands out for us as its detailed focus on UK-specific challenges and opportunities were very relevant and insightful to Northern Group, making the experience particularly valuable.

We found UKREiiF to be uniquely beneficial for understanding local market dynamics and forging region-specific strategies and relationships. UKREiiF spotlighted the power of strategic place partnerships and the essential role of public and private collaborations in shaping the future of cities. This year's forum emphasized how these elements are key to fostering a thriving city, with Manchester proudly positioned at the forefront of innovative development strategies. Northern Group left the forum with a wealth of knowledge and renewed enthusiasm for our ongoing projects in Manchester. As we continue to champion innovative and sustainable development, the insights and relationships gained from UKREiiF will inform and inspire our efforts and we look forward to the event next year.