With UKREiiF having become the must-attend event in the construction industry and having heard many positive reviews from last year’s attendees, despite the rainy forecasts, I was excited for what the event had in store.

Across the two days I spent at the event, it was apparent there were several key themes which repeatedly cropped up, however my key takeaways were as follows:

The importance of partnerships

The theme and importance of partnerships was very apparent. It’s clear that the complex challenges facing the real estate sector cannot be tackled in isolation. Cliche as it sounds, collaboration between developers, local authorities, community groups and other associated property professionals will be of utmost importance to drive sustainable progress.

I had the joy of attending the Muse panel discussion on ‘Can Public-Private Partnerships be the Catalyst to Transform our Post-Industrial Town Centres?’. The talk showcased the importance of collaborative action in urban regeneration projects to revitalise and transform underused spaces in our post-industrial town centres back to thriving hubs of activity and community engagement. Through the pooling of resources and expertise, we’re able to achieve more innovative and resilient solutions at a local level and partnership-driven development is not only critical for meeting immediate needs, but will lay the groundwork for future growth and prosperity.

The rise of the importance in Retrofitting Buildings:

The rise of retrofitting was again a repeated theme amidst discussions at UKREiiF. JLL’s panel on ‘Retrofit Realities – Addressing the Challenges of Decarbonising Existing Buildings’ highlighted the increasing importance of retrofitting buildings in attracting commercial tenants. With a growing awareness of climate change and stringent regulatory pressures, companies are prioritising energy-efficient and environmentally friendly workspaces, with sustainability and social responsibility having become central to businesses operations.

Retrofitting does however come with its own set of challenges, with occupied spaces, a scarcity of skilled labour and financial constraints all posing significant obstacles. To navigate these complexities, fostering partnerships between governments, industry stakeholders and communities, investment incentives and advancing retrofit technologies will be of paramount importance to reduce the carbon footprint of our existing building stock.

Confidence breeds confidence:

One of the standout messages was the crucial role of confidence, particularly from local authorities. Local authorities hold significant sway in either stimulating or stalling development. When demonstrating confidence, this assurance infiltrates through planning, investment and most importantly the building process and when present has the ability to transform entire communities by fostering an environment where ambitious projects are not only envisioned but also realised.

Aside from immersing myself in a number of the panel discussions on the Royal Armouries, which was somewhat essential given that the rain sabotaged much of day 2, in the evening I attended a couple of events, hosted by clients and industry peers and as always, it was great to see so many familiar faces and also meet new ones.


Reflecting on my time at UKREiiF 2024, it’s clear that the event exceeded expectations, offering a wealth of knowledge and opportunities for collaboration. The themes of partnership, retrofitting, and the role of confidence from local authorities were particularly impactful and will definitely influence my approach moving forward.

Despite the rain, the event shone a bright light on the importance of collective effort in driving sustainable progress in the real estate sector

About the Author

Daisy Neall
Head of Business Development

Daisy’s early career was forged at one of London’s specialist insurance brokers. Her professional achievements are revered by industry colleagues and clients alike, having arranged insurance on some of the UK’s most recognisable residential developments – Especially in the prime central London market. Armed with a welcoming disposition and an insightful outlook, Daisy is relied upon to deliver insurance and funding solutions for a variety of UK developers.