UKREiiF Day One Roundup

On Tuesday 17 May 2022, 4,000+ attendees came to Leeds Docks for UKREiiF for the first day of the conference which celebrates real estate and investment. This three-day event aims to bring together every core UK city region with public sector representatives, Government, investors, funders, developers, housebuilders and more to discuss real issues surrounding development and investment within each region. It’s also an opportunity for each city region to showcase the scale of their development and introduce future investment opportunities. 

Greater Manchester attended UKREiiF with its Pavilion in collaboration with the Liverpool City Region. The Canary is a unique events space in the heart of Leeds Dock, which Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region will use throughout the event to host partners, to facilitate meetings and networking events for partners. 

There were also speakers from across Greater Manchester participating in talks around a number of topics including inclusive growth and social value, the future of real estate, building better communities and reaching net-zero targets. 

For those who couldn’t attend the event, we wanted to round up some of Greater Manchester’s highlights: 

Greater Manchester’s time at UKREiiF was kick-started with Manchester City Council Leader Bev Craig joining a panel on Levelling Up Across the UK. Bev was joined by Mayors and council leaders from major cities across the UK including Edinburgh, Bristol, Belfast and Cardiff. During the talk, Bev stated, “If we are to genuinely level up, we need to look at how government decisions are framed and how we, over a period of time, take a view of the country which is less centralised. Levelling up can mean anything to anyone. Cities like Manchester will continue to set our articulate visions of what we will be in the future, it’s for government to put that into action.” 

At the same time, Wigan took centre stage with Wigan Council’s session, “Introducing Wigan”. This provided an opportunity to present the town’s potential to developers, investors and more by discussing large scale commercial and residential developments including the total redevelopment of the town centre. Alison McKenzie, Chief Executive and Aidan Thatcher, Director of Economy and Skills, both of Wigan Council took to the stage to talk about the opportunities in the town, with both ongoing projects and future development plans. 

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham joined city region mayors from across the UK including West Yorkshire and North of Tyne, in a talk around levelling up entitled “Leaving No Place Behind”. When discussing Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham stated, “The new era is here. We want our residents to have better homes, better jobs, and better transport. The character of Greater Manchester is that you’ll never walk on by on the other side, you want to do something and not leave people or places behind.” 

Gerry Brough, Director of Place Development for Bolton Council, joined a panel discussion called “Breaking the Mould: How can UK towns and cities innovate when funding major regeneration projects?” The talk discussed funding for local councils and how facilitating collaboration between the public and private sectors will enable growth. During the talk, it was suggested that Manchester should become a blueprint for other towns and cities, with its strong sense of identity and pride in its progress. 

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, provided a keynote at the Department for International Trade Pavilion. In his speech, Andy Burnham said “Pragmatic, imaginative and a vision, that’s what keeps Greater Manchester moving forwards. We have absolute clarity in what we’re trying to achieve and that prosperity will be spread around. We are the living lab for the rest of the UK and the place to make things happen.” 

All eyes were on Salford as leading figures from Salford City Council, MediaCityUK and the University of Salford, discussed the next chapter for the city. Following over £3.1bn of private sector investment over the last decade, Salford has ambitious plans for growth delivering over 40,000 new homes and new jobs by 2040. This session presented an opportunity for Salford City Council to discuss their successful partnerships in delivering the next phase of MediaCityUK and Salford Crescent among other huge regeneration projects. 

Tom Stannard Chief Executive of Salford City Council said “In Salford, we’re on a mission which cuts across the public and private sector. The momentum we now see for Salford’s next chapter is building on our success story, it’s our partnerships that are helping us along the way.  While Stephen Wild, Managing Director of Media City added “If you haven’t been to Salford in the last 10 or 15 years, you need to go now. It’s a place people want to be, a place people want to build a career. We’re a long way from finishing yet.” 

In a private session, welcomed by Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, representatives from Greater Manchester, were joined by active developers and partners. It’s hoped that the introductions made in this session will aid investment and regeneration across the city region, creating new opportunities for both commercial and residential development. 

To end the day, delegates were invited to the Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region Pavillion for a regional leadership debate. Leader of Manchester City Council, Bev Craig, was joined in conversation by Chief Executive of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Katherine Fairclough and Leader of Leeds City Council James Lewis. In a debate hosted by Chief Executive of Downtown in Business, Frank McKenna the leaders discussed what levelling up really means, how devolved powers would help city regions with a particular focus on skills and transport as well as the role of culture in placemaking.  

When discussing Manchester, Councillor Bev Craig said; “We always talk about Manchester City Centre and its transformational change, but for me, it still has room for growth and we can translate that growth to places that would be towns within Manchester, like Wythenshawe. For me, it’s about not losing sight of the priorities and benefits that sit behind place-based ambitions. It’s about seeing what people want for their future and working out how we can deliver it.” 

Following the debate, a drinks reception was held at the Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region Pavilion to provide an opportunity for networking, and introductions, as well as to celebrate the exciting rate of development across the North West. 

Greater Manchester had a very productive first day at UKREiiF, with representatives from across the city-region coming together to discuss investment and opportunities which pave an exciting future for Greater Manchester and all of its residents. From showcasing the future of Wigan and Salford to discussing how Greater Manchester plans to level up, the first day of UKREiiF has been a unique opportunity to celebrate a prosperous and exciting future for our city region. 

UKREiIF 2022 is running from Tuesday 17 May to Thursday 19 May. 

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter for live updates from the event. 

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