Supporting productivity across the country
Our regional economies depend on the real estate sector to provide the theatre in which we live our lives – the jobs, homes, leisure, educational and business spaces that we all use. Real estate nvestment creates new communities, transforms existing places through regeneration, and stimulates business productivity and economic growth by creating better business space.
At this time, and more than ever, private sector investment is needed to work alongside visionary public sector leaders to support our national and local ambitions for healthier and more sustainable thriving communities across the country. In 2020, our sector invested £64bn in new projects, which generated 400,000 new jobs in construction and other related activities. The sector wants to invest more in our regional economies and communities.
Over the past decade, the BPF has built a network for dialogue between our sector and local and regional government outside London with forums in six city regions every quarter. We work through these forums, our Regional Policy Committee and our programme of engagement with combined authorities and others to advocate for strong, well-led regions, that command Government support as well as to work together to deliver benefits locally. We know that if productivity is allowed to grow sustainably in the regions it will make the whole nation more resilient, ensuring the UK is a more prosperous and fairer place. The evidence also shows that countries with beacons of local growth tend to have more devolved powers to local level. The UK is on a trajectory toward this, and the Government should continue and accelerate action where there are local structures ready to receive devolved powers.
We have set out a package of measures that will help to deliver regional growth and support inclusive healthy communities, leveraging the investment of the real estate sector including many of our pensions and savings funds.
Our Key Asks
- Help to pump prime private sector investment in the regions through investment in infrastructure and connectivity.
- Create market-based initiatives and open innovation competitions to deploy regional capital as hotbeds of innovation.
- Ensure that the mechanisms which govern allocation of national government funding, and spending decisions at local level, enable public funds to be directed to areas that need it most, and avoid compounding regional inequalities.
- Continue to devolve powers to regional and local level where it is clear there is the leadership and capacity to drive a strong local growth agenda.
- Work with us to create new models of public and private partnerships that create inclusive and prosperous communities and high streets.
- Ensure local plans include housing plans that are responsive to local needs and are inclusive of a wide variety of tenures.
To tackle the current regional imbalances across the UK, we need to create strong partnerships of trust between local authorities, central government and the private sector. It’s time to be brave in innovating and working together to unlock sustainable growth across the country whilst enhancing people’s lives through the built environment they use.