The Challenge

High streets have played a central role in our towns and cities for hundreds of years, bringing people together to debate, to shop and to socialise. As the world evolves and society changes, it’s right that we take a fresh look at our high streets. While some continue to thrive, others must transform. How can they find new purpose? How can they be reimagined to flourish now and in the future?

To inject some fresh thinking into this problem, we have launched the BPF Futures Challenge, a ground-breaking new initiative that will put real estate’s future leaders at the heart of solving one of the biggest challenges facing our towns and cities.

The initiative will be run as a one-day ‘Challenge’ on 25 September, during which teams of challengers – drawn from the public and private sectors – will focus on a real-life high street and will spend the day finding solutions to the challenges it is experiencing.

Each team will focus on the same high street, and each team will be made up of a BPF Futures member and a local authority employee within which this urban centre sits. The high street chosen for the competition will be announced in August.

The competition is open to all property professionals, with 10 years’ or fewer experience in the property sector. Any level of experience within those 10 years will be considered – and you do not need to be an expert. All that matters is that you have an open mind, the ability to think creatively and the enthusiasm to make a difference.

If this sounds like you, enter the competition by registering online here. (deadline – 23 August)

A panel of experts will be on-hand during the day to give advice and lend their expertise to the challengers. Prior to the event, teams will be able to access a dedicated ‘data room’, containing a brief on the town or city they will be working with, and other relevant pieces of research, information and guidance.

At the end of the Challenge day, each team will present its ideas to a panel of expert judges, which will agree a short list for further consideration and potential refinement. The winners of the challenge will see their idea piloted through the government’s One Public Estate programme, with a £100,000 package of support to help turn their vision into reality.

The One Public Estate programme, led by the Office of Government Property and Local Government Association; the British Property Federation (BPF), which supports the property industry’s largest network for young professionals, BPF Futures; and U+I, the specialist regeneration developer, have joined forces to launch.

The Partners

BPF Futures – independent of, but supported by the British Property Federation – is a network, shaped and managed by junior professionals, for anyone with 10 years or less experience in the property industry. The future of Real Estate will be defined by our ability to nurture a more diverse pool of leaders – BPF Futures is a network designed to develop tomorrow’s property industry leaders, to ensure a more sustainable future for our sector and the UK’s economic & social wellbeing.

U+I is a specialist regeneration developer and investor. With a £11 billion+ portfolio of complex, mixed-use, community-focused regeneration projects including a £154 million investment portfolio, we are unlocking urban sites bristling with potential in the London, Manchester and Dublin city regions. We exist to create long-term socio-economic benefit for the communities in which we work, delivering sustainable returns to our shareholders.

The Office of Government Property (OGP), formerly the Government Property Unit (established in 2010) supports ​government and the wider public sector to manage their estate more efficiently and effectively, helping to deliver the finest public services and supporting the government’s priorities by unlocking surplus land for housing, and encouraging the creation of public service jobs outside London to support economic growth. OGP builds capacity and capability in the property function across government through leadership of the Government Property Profession and improving use of data for better decision making.

The Local Government Association is the national voice of local government, working with councils to support, promote and improve local government.

The British Property Federation is the membership organisation for, and the voice of, the UK real estate industry.

BPF represents and promotes the interests of all those with a stake in real estate in the UK – owners, developers, funders (equity and debt), agents and advisers.

BPF work with government and regulatory bodies to help the real estate industry grow and thrive, to the benefit of their members and the economy as a whole. Because BPF membership is industry wide, they can provide government and regulators with the knowledge they need to make decisions.