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UKREiiF- The Commonplace round up

It’s been a week since we visited one of the UK’s biggest levelling up and real estate events: UKREiiF, so we’re here to share our highlights and favourite learnings from those jam-packed three days.

UKREiiF (The UK’s Real Estate investment and infrastructure forum) brought together the public and private sector – with delegates from every major UK  region attending – alongside Government, developers, inventors, housebuilders, tech experts and more. While manning our own stand, we had the chance to talk to a number of industry leaders, browse some very interesting booths (while picking up a few freebies of course), and maxing out our step counts trying to catch all fringe events happening across Leeds.

Check out our (brief) UKREiiF rundown as well our team’s favourite moments from the event!

My highlight was probably dinner with Inward Investment team at Leicester City Council, or watching Lauryn do her thang at our panel event - Amy Hazelhurst, Business Development Manager

Day 1 at UKREiiF- time to explore!

UKREiiF next generation future stage

Day one was PACKED, but we’ve still pulled together some bite-sized snapshots of our favourite moments there. We also want to give a massive thank you to everyone who stopped by stand D22 and grabbed a free pen!

  • It began with a fantastic opening by Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, welcoming everyone to the event and highlighting how important it is to work together across all sectors to achieve the government’s levelling up agenda.
  • The first talk of the day at the Levelling Up stage was with the Chair, Lord Kerslake: speaking on the “true levelling up, being as sustainable and inclusive as possible.”
  • The City of Wolverhampton had their own talk about the three themes of planning: diversity of place, flair of innovation and thriving culture. They emphasised how important engagement is for a good consultation (something we were extremely pleased to hear).
  • The Leader of Manchester City Council, Bev Craig, had some strong words to say about how we see the space around us now. "People's relationship to public spaces has changed after the Pandemic. People are telling us a different story now & we have to respond to that quickly. It starts with having the right tools in place to have our finger on the pulse.”
  • At the next-generation futures Pavilion, they were looking at sustainability and aligning responsibilities with WSP Ashley Dunseath. Talking about the framework of planning that needs to be forward and open to networking.

My highlight was actually the train up to Leeds. I sat opposite a senior Partner at Calfordseaden and managed to do a demo on the train up! The funniest part was when they suddenly paused me and said, ' Ahmed, I’m about to lose you (as we started to go through a tunnel) but I was sitting opposite him! - Ahmed Khan, Head of Private 



Day 2 at UKREiiF- Talks, walks and connections

UKREiiF Day 2

What were my highlights? Definitely listening to the great Commonplace team do our thing at the panel on the last day. Also listening to many local authorities saying how engagement is key to them. Personally, it was also great to meet with the team in person for a number of days - Mark Holleron, Business Development Manager


Now for Day 2's highlights!

  • We started off at the Leeds innovation Breakfast, speaking about inclusivity within planning, supporting communities, and connecting digital and traditional practices together.
  • We saw a very interesting conversation on Defining Homes England’s Role in Levelling Up in the UK with Peter Denton- Chief Executive Homes England, Steve Harrington- Planning Director Regal London, and Kate Bowyer- Managing Director Muse Developments.
  • Lucille Watkins, Head of social Sustainability at Lendlease, informed us that Lendlease locks in a socio-economic element from the start of each project to ensure social value is a real deliverable for communities in the short, medium and long term.

I loved how much focus was given to bringing communities on the journey of regeneration, community engagement and value of partnerships to ensure better places are built. Also Victoria Hills from RTPI's jokes about the Levelling Up Bill (LUB) - I can't stop lubbing you - Jen Miller, VP Customer Experience


Day 3- Commonplace Roundtable event

Commonplace panel at UKREiiF

“My highlights were the industry talks from different regions of the UK and how they talked about improving all areas of the country, not just London. There were also a ton of fun fringe events where we could meet new contacts and spend quality time with colleagues.” - Amish Patel, 

Day 3 was the day we’d been waiting for- our very own roundtable: Engagement and community data best practices: using partnerships to achieve governmental white paper goals. We gathered any expert panel, including:

Jen Miller: VP Customer Experience Commonplace

Lauryn Brown: Development Director Commonplace

Chris Hogwood: Managing Director Landsec

Adam Brannen, MRTPI: Head of Regeneration Leeds City Council

Leigh Bramall: Director Counter Context Ltd

Jeff Scales: Head of Services North Locality

We answered what we saw as the main questions: how to engage communities, why community engagement is so pivotal, as well as the data and what can be done to unlock the voices of those who may not be part of the discussion in the first place. For us, Community engagement and building upon transparent meaningful conversations are key to successful projects.

My highlights were a range of positive comments that Commonplace got - from Rob Krzysowski (Haringey council) speaking about the development which has come about in the local areas due to using the engagement platform, and our panel discussion. As well as Jenna Frudd (Willmot Dixon) being really interested and enthusiastic about our platform and the tools we have as well as working with us in the future! Built Environment Leaders Group event and the RLB network social with Mark Beaver and team - Lauryn Brown, Development Director 

Has your interest been piqued by our roundtable discussion? We’re always happy to talk in GREAT detail about how a clear engagement and communication strategy can bring your projects to the next level. Just click below and a member of our team will be back to you ASAP.

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Charlotte Cooper

Charlotte Cooper

Content Writer at Commonplace