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Council leaders address DIB members at UKREiiF pre-conference event

Downtown in Business welcomed council and business leaders for a roundtable dinner to share their thoughts and ideas for the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum, which is taking place in Leeds between 17th-19th May 2022.

DIB were delighted to be joined by council chief executives Tim Johnson (City of Wolverhampton Council), Deborah Cadman (Birmingham City Council) and Martin Reeves (Coventry City Council), as well as several business leaders from across the property, real estate, and construction sectors. In association with Bruntwood, DIB welcomed delegates for a dinner at the wonderful Malmaison Hotel in Leeds City Centre to share their thoughts and discuss plans for the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF), taking place between 17th-19th May 2022.

With inflation hitting a 40 year high of 9% this week, the council leaders recognised the cost-of-living crisis and that there are “turbulent” times ahead. Certain to be key themes at the UKREiiF event, investment and ‘levelling up’ were discussed by delegates throughout the evening. “You’ve got to invest in communities as well”, Deborah Cadman stated.

Although there are plenty of willing investors, how the investors are chosen and whether they are the right fit were also a key topic of conversation.

Discussing the West Midlands in particular, the Three Cities council chief executives posed the question “what does ‘levelling up’ mean?”. Tim Johnson commented that Wolverhampton “as a city are one of the path finders along with Sheffield”. Deborah added “the Three Cities programme is so much more than ‘levelling up’ the inner-city infrastructure”.

Overall, the dinner allowed delegates to have an open and honest discussion. DIB CEO, Frank McKenna reiterated the importance of working collaboratively, “it’s on all of us to come together to address these major challenges”. It will be interesting to see the outcomes of UKREiiF and we look forward to hearing feedback from members and some of the Downtown team from the 3-day event.

Thank you to Bruntwood for sponsoring this event and thank you to Malmaison Leeds for their hospitality.

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