Look out MIPIM, there’s a new property conference in town

Business and political figures from across the UK have joined forces to launch a new event which aims to rival the world’s largest property conference MIPIM.

By Lizzie Murphy
Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 4:45 pm
Delegates at MIPIM. Picture: REX/Shutterstock
Delegates at MIPIM. Picture: REX/Shutterstock

The inaugural Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF), which will take place in Leeds in May 2022, is supported by the British Property Federation and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Regeneration and Development as well as developers and local authorities.

The networking event, exhibition, and conference aims to attract inward investment, generate economic growth, and drive a more sustainable and inclusive culture within the property and construction industries.

MIPIM, which takes place in Cannes in the south of France each year, traditionally attracts a large number of property professionals from the UK, including city region and local authorities keen to attract investment for their regeneration schemes.

It was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus but critics have previously argued it constitutes a huge waste of public money for little return.

In 2019 it was revealed that Leeds City Council spent £1,936.69 on sending its leader, Coun Judith Blake, to MIPIM in 2018..

Lord Bob Kerslake, chairman of UKREiiF Advisory Group and former chief executive of the Homes & Communities Agency, said: “It’s becoming increasingly odd for the UK’s property and regeneration industries to travel to the South of France annually to meet people you can do just as easily and effectively in the UK.

He added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has given us an opportunity to pause and reflect, an opportunity to ask ourselves what the future should look like in terms of a conference that brings these industries together.

“Such a conference is needed – to connect and network, learn from each other and highlight new opportunities, and this new UK based forum will be really important.

“UKREiiF is a new future that we should embrace. A new UK property and investment event can and must have a much greater focus on sustainability, inclusion and a healthy environment.”

More than 3,000 tickets are on sale for the forum, which will feature over 100 speakers and 250 exhibitors on May 17-19, with thousands able to attend virtually.

Royal Armouries and Leeds Dock will be the main area for the indoor and outdoor event, with more than 50 fringe events happening across the city.

There will also be tours of key development and investment sites across the region for those looking to develop and invest in Yorkshire.

Keith Griffiths, managing director at Built Environment Networking, which is behind UKREiiF, said: “The benefits to the Leeds City Region will be phenomenal. It will attract thousands of people into Leeds from across the UK and the world, which will have a positive impact for the regional hospitality industry whilst also drawing the spotlight onto the Leeds City Region, showcasing what Yorkshire has to offer.”

A number of senior figures and businesses have already committed to UKREiiF including: Kate Willard OBE, chair of the Thames Estuary Growth Board and Joanne Roney OBE, chief executive of Manchester City Council.

Organisations include Yorkshire developers Scarborough Group International and MEPC as well as Allied London and property consultancy Avison Young.

Other supporters include the Royal Town Planning Institute, Capital & Centric, Willmott Dixon, Constructing Rainbows, Pagabo and CB Collier.

Ms Willard OBE, said: “I’m already looking forward to The UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) in Leeds in 2022. There is a huge amount of investment and development potential in the UK.”

She added: “It makes sense to have an event of the highest calibre in this country.”