BPF Futures Challenge: competition launched to bring new life to UK high streets

Consultation launched on BPF Futures Challenge winning vision

Tameside Council has announced that work has begun to kick-start its vision for a thriving town centre in Hyde following the success of last year’s BPF Futures Challenge.

The council said on 2 March that it would develop a masterplan that will be the base from which to move forward in securing further investment.

Tameside Council’s Executive Leader, Cllr Brenda Warrington, said: “We’re excited to develop fresh and innovative proposals that will be a solid foundation towards a sustainable, accessible and community service-rich centre that will really take Hyde forward into the 21st century.”

A consultation has been launched to give residents their say on shaping the future of Hyde, seeking both resident and visitor views around shopping, leisure, markets, housing and health provision locations. Residents can find out more and have their say online at or visit the drop-in event on 14 March at Clarendon Square, Hyde, between 10am and 4pm.

BPF Futures Challenge: Winners announced

The winners of the first ever BPF Futures Challenged pitched their idea to bring a “healthy heart back to Hyde,” proposing a consolidated central hub in the town centre and public-private partnerships creating a “collective based model.”

Each team was named after a street around Hyde town centre, with Corporation Street, Reynold Street and Clark Way making the final shortlist out of the 12 teams that took part.

Janet Young, Chief Property Officer at the Cabinet Officer announced Reynold Street as the winners of the Challenge at MIPIM UK on 14 October.

The team was made up of Alex Bonnett, Surveyor, Avison Young; Georgina Kean, Assistant Planner, Turley; Jessica Malone, Portfolio Manager, Assura plc; Holly Russell-Kennedy, Surveyor, Ellandi; Oliver Ryan, Councillor, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council; Luke Tully, Assistant Director, Deloitte Real Estate; and Agata Tymon, Chartered Building Surveyor, Malcolm Hollis LLP.

Our panel of judges thought that the team presented a strong vision for the area. Badged as the ‘Heart of Hyde’, their plans focus on health and healthy living, the creation of a flexible use cultural and wellness hub, an ‘incubation hub’ to attract new businesses to the area, and the acquisition and consolidation of under-utilised sites in the town centre to better serve the needs of the community. The proposal also includes plans to redesign the local environment to encourage more pedestrian access to the centre of town and the creation of a local apps and business collectives to put the local community at the heart of the area’s future development.

The Minister for Implementation at the Cabinet Office, Simon Hart, said: “High streets sit at the heart of communities and are crucial to the health and vitality of our towns and cities. Innovative use of public property can play a key role in their regeneration, which is why we’re delighted to support the BPF Futures Challenge through our One Public Estate programme.

“A massive congratulations goes out to all that have taken part in this exciting initiative and I look forward to seeing the positive impact the winning idea will have in Hyde.”

We’re very happy to announce that Hyde in Tameside, Greater Manchester, has been picked as the town centre that will be at the centre of this ground-breaking initiative.

Tameside Council beat 24 other local authorities to qualify for the scheme and is now looking for our bright and forward-thinking Challengers to come up with the new and innovative ideas needed to revive Hyde. Councillors are looking for the teams to reimagine Hyde as a thriving town centre with increased footfall that is the focal point for its community, serving a large residential catchment area. They also want the town capitalise on substantial new residential properties being built around the town centre which will bring in approximately 6,000 new residents and will create a substantial number of new local jobs or the area.

06 June 2019, London: 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 BPF Futures Challenge, which aims to put the property sector’s future leaders at the heart of solving one of the biggest challenges facing our towns and cities: how to breathe new life into urban centres.

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.

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, 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.

Take a look at the highlights from The BPF Futures Challenge launch event below!

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation comments:

“The future of our town and city centres depends on our commitment to a shared agenda, where the public and private sectors are united in overcoming challenges and unlocking opportunities. Our sector’s future leaders are pivotal to our success and the BPF Futures Challenge is giving young property professionals an opportunity to get involved not only in the adaptation required for our town and city centres, but also the way in which public and private sectors work together now and in the future.

“I urge as many young professionals as possible to get involved, and senior leaders across our sector to encourage their junior team members to be a part of the BPF Futures Challenge.”

Matthew Weiner, CEO, U+I says:

“The best partnerships are those that bring together a diversity of perspectives. It is through this process that new ideas are born, and through working with others who bring something different to the table that we can break out of the group mentality and stale processes to approach challenges with fresh thinking and come up with new ways of doing things. We are excited to see the new ideas – and new partnerships – that will emerge from the Challenge and I hope they will inspire us all with fresh thinking.” 

Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden says:

“High Streets play a vital role at the heart of communities up and down the country, so I am delighted to launch this exciting initiative to support their strong and successful future.

“The Government’s One Public Estate partnerships are making a significant contribution to economic growth, and I look forward to seeing how fresh thinking and innovation can help our town centres thrive and develop.”