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

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.”

Highlights from The BPF Futures Challenge launch event