UKREiiF will stay in Leeds
After flirting with the idea of relocating the three-day property convention to another regional city, it has been confirmed UKREiiF will remain in Yorkshire for the foreseeable future.
The 2024 edition of UKREiiF, run by Built Environment Networking, was always going to be in Leeds but earlier this year the organisers announced they were looking at other potential host cities from 2025.
Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham were all in the running but have missed out to Leeds, despite some concerns UKREiiF might have outgrown its current home at Leeds Dock and Royal Armouries.
“We saw some excellent venues and potential sites for UKREiiF and any of them could have successfully hosted [it],” said chief executive of UKREiiF Keith Griffiths.
“Overall, we felt Leeds, with some really exciting propositions for growth, was the right city to host UKREiiF building on what we expect to be an excellent event in 2024.”
Attention will now turn to how Leeds, which has been commended for its hosting of the first two editions of UKREiiF, will cope with a growing event
A report by Arup after this year’s UKREiiF, found that Leeds’ hotels were completely full during the event, a statistic that is likely to raise eyebrows ahead of the 2024 edition.
According to BEN, UKREiiF raised £20m for the local economy through visitor spend and attracted 9,500 official and fringe delegates in 2023 and BEN expects this to increase to 15,000 in 2024.
As a result, 18 additional pavilions and several new buildings are planned for next year.
Attendees at this year’s UKREiiF that Place North West spoke to suggested that the event might be outgrowing its current venue.
As well as the scarcity and cost of hotel rooms, queues for the food trucks were often long and many of the panel discussions were impossible to get into unless you arrived half an hour early.
There were also concerns that, if the weather were to turn, there would be a shortage of places to find shelter as much of the current UKREiiF set-up is outdoor.
Cllr James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We are delighted that UKREiiF is staying here in Leeds and we are proud to be able to enable this Leeds-based scale up, as it continues to realise its rapid growth.
“UKREiiF represents a significant platform for highlighting the city and our dedication to fostering innovation, inclusive growth and resilience. It demonstrates the art of the possible when private and public sector come together, working in tandem with industry leaders and fellow innovators, to drive positive change with a more diverse delegation.”