The UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF), taking place at the Royal Armouries and Leeds Dock, aims to attract inward investment, generate economic growth, and drive a more sustainable and inclusive culture within the property and construction industries.
Organisers said the huge support they had received for the first event and strong ticket sales, had prompted them to set a date for next May.
Keith Griffiths, managing director of Built Environment Networking, the organisers of UKREiiF, said: “The event has been nothing shy of a roaring success, receiving a wave of positive feedback from speakers, sponsors and delegates alike.
“I am incredibly proud of what my team have achieved here in Leeds this week – not just for ourselves as a local business, but in helping to accelerate the urgent need to ‘level up’ the country.”
With opportunities and projects announced this week totalling nearly £40bn in gross development value, the organisers are already planning next year’s event with UKREiiF confirmed to return to Leeds Royal Armouries from May 16-18 2023.
Multiple organisations have already confirmed their attendance.
Mr Griffiths added: “This is testament to the calibre of event and service that we’ve successfully delivered this week with over 200 local authorities playing an active role. We are confident 2023 will be even bigger.”
Yesterday, the second day of the three-day event, saw a keynote address from the Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin, who spoke about the importance of innovation to economic growth and prosperity in the region and also hosted the Women in Business’s Glassbox event.
There was also a roundtable discussion with some of the UK’s top council chief executives on strategic investment opportunities in the UK’s biggest cities, a discussion on how to deliver 20 King’s Cross style regeneration projects across the UK, and a debate about how the UK’s biggest transport infrastructure projects are driving inclusive economic growth.
Elsewhere, The Midlands Engine launched a £33bn a portfolio which will curate up to 220,000 new jobs and Legal & General committed up to £4bn into the West Midlands.
Harry Robinson, from US data company MSCI’s London office, one of the event’s sponsors, told The Yorkshire Post, that the climate change discussions had been a particular highlight of the event for him. “It’s been very useful because everyone’s exchanging ideas and learning from each other,” he said.
Jo Kalkwarf, business and marketing coordinator at London-based architects Axis Mason, said the event programme had been busier than she expected. “I’ve missed a few sessions that I would have wanted to see because there are so many places you can go.”
She said that the event would benefit from bigger pavilions because not everyone could fit into the most popular sessions.
“But everything else – the calibre of people here and the networking – has been great,” she said. “It’s been very UK-focused and in that sense it’s been better than MIPIM (the annual global property conference which takes place in France) because it’s more relevant.”
Jason Longhurst, strategic director of Place at Bradford Council, added: “In Bradford we have been investing in our offer as the UK’s leading clean growth city district and granting permission to innovative schemes like Esholt and One City Park in order to attract high-quality national and international investment which unlocks more benefits for our communities.
“We chose not to send our team hundreds of miles off to the south of France this year to attend MIPIM but we have invested in building a strong presence at UKREiiF where we can showcase the opportunities to invest in Bradford to a national and international audience.
“The UK needs UKREiiF to be a success so that more towns and cities can grow by unlocking high-quality investment opportunities.”
UKREiiF features over 300 speakers and over 80 exhibitors over three days.UKREiiF sets date for 2023 event.