Latest News | 14 July 2023

Derby set to pitch for ‘accelerators’ pilot

Share this post:

Derby could be set to get involved in a new government-backed pilot scheme, which aims to breathe new life into city and town centres.

In her keynote speech at the Derby Property Summit, Melanie Leech CBE, chief executive of the British Property Federation (BPF), revealed that it is talking to Derby about getting involved in the Town Centre Accelerators pilot.

The BPF represents UK companies involved in property ownership and investment.

Regarded as the voice of the UK property industry, it works with the Government and other regulatory bodies to help the real estate industry grow and thrive.

She told the property summit “Real estate underpins everything that we do – that’s why curating places is critical.

“But who should that curator be? And how do we get over obstacles like fragmented ownership and differing levels of commitment?

“The solution we put forward was Town Centre Investment Zones – creating a zone and drawing together a coalition of willing partners.

“This idea has since morphed into the Town Centre Accelerators concept – and ourselves and the Government are talking to pilot areas. Derby is one of those potential pilot areas.”

In her speech, Melanie also stressed the importance of partnership working.

She said: “Curation is all about partnership. Regeneration is all about partnership.

“It is about trust and about people. Take your time to find the right partner. You’re right to be picky!

“There is momentum in Derby – and success breeds success. The commitment of the local authority is key – and there is a clarity of purpose here in Derby.”

In his speech, responding to Melanie’s comments about the Town Centre Accelerators concept, Councillor Baggy Shanker, leader of Derby City Council (BH), said: “Melanie, please be assured that Derby will certainly be pitching as a pilot as I can already think of streets where we could work with owners and occupiers in improving them.”

Also among the keynote speakers was Professor Yolande Barnes, chair of the The Bartlett Real Estate Institute, which is based at University College London (UCL).

Part of The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, it is a global institute that is rethinking the traditional view of real estate – a perfect fit for the theme of this year’s Derby Property Summit, whose focus was the curation of cities.

With a little help from the Rolling Stones, Yolande explained how the property investment landscape had radically changed from the ‘baby boomers’ generation of the 1960s to the present day.

She explained how large single use buildings were now becoming a thing of the past – and that we were now seeing a shift to smaller, simpler, multi-use buildings.

She also said that many cities had “too much Tarmac” and that what people want to see now is more greenery, particularly in the spaces between buildings.

She said: “We need to create an environment suitable for human activity. We need to think about what human beings do.

“Tech cities aren’t the places with the best broadband or new buildings – they are places where a talented workforce wants to live, work and play.

“So, we need to think about what we want our cities to be like in 50 years’ time.

“It requires a change of mindset – and Derby is well placed to create that local revolution.”

Related Articles...

This will close in 0 seconds