UKREiiF: why innovation and affordable homes are at the top of our agenda

14.05.24 3 min read by James Pitt

As UKREiiF returns for a third year, we are looking forward to showcasing our work alongside our partners and fostering new relationships that will help us to deliver even more transformational urban regeneration projects across the UK.

We’re also very proud that this important event is being held in Leeds, and it’s fantastic that Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority have ensured that UKREiiF continues to be based in our city.

As a region, Yorkshire is a microcosm of the UK, from the urban centres of Leeds and Bradford to the rural and coastal communities of the wider county. UKREiiF offers an opportunity not only to highlight the opportunities for development and regeneration which exist in the region, but to shine a light on some of the exemplar projects and solutions which are being delivered here already and can benefit the wider UK.

While the North East and Yorkshire team are delighted to be engaging with this important event in our home city, for all our regions we are committing more to UKREiiF in 2024 that we ever have before. This year Muse + Partners, our residency at Fearns, will see us holding a packed programme of panel discussions, breakfast events and networking alongside our partners. These will be on a variety of topics including how we are driving regeneration through public-private partnerships and building more sustainable places, as well as showcasing our work with PIC and Homes England to deliver sustainable, low-carbon housing.

For us, UKREiiF offers a unique forum to continue important conversations with our Local Authority partners about their opportunities and challenges. It’s also a chance to meet with others in the industry to discuss and debate how we unlock growth in the regions, as well as share knowledge and learnings from our key regeneration projects such as Forge Island in Rotherham and the proposed City Village project in Bradford, which, alongside our ECF partners, is seeking to find ways in which we can repurpose the Oastler and Kirkgate shopping centres.

At an event like this there are always a huge number of opportunities and discussions to be had, and it can sometimes feel like there is too much to get done in just three short days. However, for the North East and Yorkshire team, there are two topics that are at the top of our agenda.

Fusion Hive, Stockton-on-tees

The first is innovation as a driver of growth in our towns and cities. In Leeds, the upcoming £1bn Innovation Arc will see the creation of a series of innovation neighbourhoods formed round the anchors of the city’s main universities, while in the North East, the Durham Innovation District is combining high quality infrastructure and new amenities to drive innovation in industries such as fintech, digital and life sciences. Back in Yorkshire, the University of Huddersfield’s National Health Innovation Campus will also deliver a major boost to regeneration of the town centre, as well as employment and growth opportunities through new world-class health and research facilities.

Revitalising spaces in our cities into hubs where creativity and innovation can cluster and flourish is a key driver in harnessing high-quality jobs, retaining student populations and attracting businesses in industries such as med tech, fin tech and life sciences, all of which we know can be big drivers of growing economies. We are looking forward to meeting with other key players in this area and discussing how innovation can be further used as a driver of growth and wider regeneration of towns and cities across Yorkshire and the North East.

Our second focus, and something that is always a key pillar of our work at Muse, is how we deliver homes that are safe, warm and affordable. The demand for these homes is not going away and we are looking forward to discussions with partners about how we can assist with this delivery at scale and pace, while ensuring we create high quality, well-designed places that are better for people’s wellbeing and the wider economy.

James Pitt
James Pitt, Managing Director - Yorkshire & North East

It’s an area we are leading in, with Muse having already delivered Passivhaus standard affordable homes in Salford. Alongside our partners Salix Homes and Salford City Council, we have created homes that are more sustainable, have lower bills and are better for the health and wellbeing of residents. It’s our hope that this project could be a blueprint for others on how it is possible to create better, more affordable homes for everyone.

As we return to UKREiiF for our third year, we are looking forward to having these important discussions with both new and existing partners.  Through fostering partnerships and sharing knowledge with the private and public sector alike, it’s our hope that we can create the opportunities that will allow our region’s cities and towns to continue to grow and thrive.

 

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