Written by Kaylene Oliveira

What a busy first day at UK REiiF it was yesterday. With almost 13,000 delegates over the three days, it’s exceptionally well-attended. In contrast to many other industry conferences, the gender split appears far more balanced, with many, many women in attendance, actively participating and sharing their knowledge across the full programme. Organisations have sent delegates across a range of levels and age groups, so the conference feels young and vibrant with a diverse mix of people networking and attending many industry panels and events.

Crucially, the conference has brought together professionals from across the public and private sectors, offering one of the best opportunities for positive discussions about how best to unlock JV partnerships. Yesterday, the Wates Pavilion brought together five impressive women from three London local authorities, Emma Talbot, Director of Regeneration and Sustainable Development at London Borough of Harrow, Caroline Harper, Deputy MD at Be First and Setareh Neshati, Head of Development, Housing and Regeneration at Westminster City Council as well as Catherine Raynesford, Director at Hyde Group to discuss new JV models that enable housing delivery at scale. The session proved very insightful as participants debated the merits of creative funding structures and policy reform to deliver more for local communities.

Later in the day, this was further evidenced through the Meridian Water panel event, which took a deep dive into how Enfield Council’s visionary scheme is being unlocked and delivered through partnerships. Penny Halliday, Director at Meridian Water spoke at length about how their £175m strategic infrastructure works funding from DLUHC has helped to derisk and progress the site for investment from future partners as they bring forward new sites to the market including their latest land parcel, Meridian Thirteen – a gateway site sitting directly adjacent to the new Meridian Water Train Station.

Finally, we held a brilliant round-table event in partnership with Business LDN and London Square which focused on the role that for profit registered providers can play in helping to bring forward more new affordable homes to market. This evidenced the need for a range of creative solutions and industry players if we are serious about getting more people out of emergency accommodation and into safe, quality affordable homes.

Day two today looks a lot more wet but we’re really excited about the great sessions and meetings on the agenda!

Stay tuned for more updates throughout the conference.

If you would like to meet up over the next two days in Leeds, get in touch with Karen Alcock, Simon Gartshore, Kaylene Oliveira, Jo Dancy, or Adam McLaren or email us at info@kandaconsulting.co.uk

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