5 Top Regeneration Hotspots in the UK
At a time when UK regional cities are racing ahead of the traditionally popular London market in terms of growth, we’re examining what is making these cities and towns tick and how a renewed focus on regeneration is pushing property prices to never-before-seen levels. These are our top UK regeneration hotspots for 2020.
For further reading check out our ‘Best Places to Invest in UK Property‘.
The top-performing regional core since 2016, Birmingham has seen the highest levels of growth since the Brexit vote with a property price growth of 16%. Currently undergoing a wave of regeneration under the ‘Big City Plan’, Birmingham in 2019 can only be described as undergoing a ‘golden age’, with an exciting development pipeline that spans all sectors and locales.
Digbeth, the city’s creative quarter, is set to receive the biggest boost over the next decade, thanks to two once-in-a-generation developments – HS2 and Birmingham Smithfield.
HS2 is projected to bring over £92 billion of benefits, kickstarting a huge amount of investment into the region and also played a major role in attracting the likes of HSBC and PwC to relocate headquarters. With the interchange station located at the heart of Digbeth and Birmingham’s Eastside, the surrounding area will be revitalised with inward investment and renewed foot traffic from busy commuting professionals.
Just a stone’s throw away from HS2 is Birmingham Smithfield, an area recognised as the birthplace of Birmingham and primed for a complete transformation. The £1.5 billion project is set to create a new destination within the second city, providing state-of-the-art residential and leisure spaces alongside public plazas. Designed as a hotspot of tenant demand, Birmingham Smithfield will create 3,000 new jobs, 300,000 sq.ft of mixed-use floor space and around 2,000 new homes.
Closer to the city centre, the Paradise and Arena Central developments are creating state-of-the-art commercial spaces that have already been occupied by HSBC and HMRC. Arena Central will provide 1.2 million sq.ft of mixed-use development space while Paradise will provide 1.8 million sq.ft, comprised of stores, offices, recreation and cultural amenities.
An unsung hero on this list, Bracknell’s £770 million regeneration project is transforming this town into something much more.
A key driver in the growth of Bracknell, the Bracknell Town Centre Vision is a 20-year masterplan due to complete in 2032 that will deliver iconic new residential, commercial and retail spaces. With nearly £770 million of regeneration committed to the region, Bracknell Forest Council is looking to develop every aspect of the town centre for both investors and residents. Over four phases, the dynamic plan will blend quality residential, commercial, retail and leisure developments with exceptional employment opportunities.
Spurred on by The Lexicon, a state-of-the-art £240 million retail and leisure destination, the overall Bracknell Vision is necessary to accommodate growing demand. Home to a population of 120,000 and due to increase further to 141,000 by 2039, Bracknell is using its enviable position within the UK technology sector to drive forward. Looking ahead to 2020, Bracknell is expanding regeneration to include Princess Square and The Deck – a modern, airy commercial destination that will create between 3,000 and 19,000 new sq.ft of retail, restaurant and leisure space.
Liverpool has undergone major redevelopment over the last decade, most notably with Liverpool ONE – a £920 million complex over 42 acres and the largest open-air shopping centre in the UK.
Thanks to this long-term investment, Liverpool’s employment growth has exploded, attracting huge brands such as Barclays, Jaguar, Land Rover, Sony and CBRE.
Following on from Liverpool ONE is Liverpool Waters, a vast development estimated at around £5.5 billion and set to create over 1.5 million square metres of high-quality, mixed-use space. Set to run over 15 – 20 years, Liverpool Waters will encompass the Princes Dock area and Central Docklands, creating new residential and commercial space, leisure and cultural attractions as well as a new £300 million stadium for Everton Football Club. The first phase of this regeneration has already been completed and Princes Dock construction is due to complete around 2020.
At the heart of the East Midlands, the Southern Gateway is an exciting new regeneration project for Nottingham – anchored by the train station and the redevelopment of Broadmarsh shopping centre. With the concrete edifice now removed and construction work due to start this year, Broadmarsh Car Park will be transformed alongside the Inti Broadmarsh Shopping Centre. Collin Street is also due to be pedestrianised with new cafes and bars on the street.
Opposite the train station is Unity Square, the new regional hub for HMRC and home to over 4,000 employees.
Working further towards the city centre is the City Hub campus, a £58 million pound scheme that is due to complete in 2020. Built on an abandoned site on Canal Street, the City Hub campus will create a complete business hub comprised of community facilities and a high-quality college campus.
The development will also include a performing arts centre, student retail space, cafes and bars.
One of the highest-ranked locations for new business start-ups behind Birmingham and London, Manchester is heavily invested in technology and digital media. Following on from the creation of MediaCityUK, a haven for media jobs and home to heavyweights ITV and the BBC, Manchester has used this momentum to push forward new developments across the city.
Spinningfields is one of these new developments and Europe’s most successful urban regeneration projects – creating an entirely new regional business quarter for the UK. With 165 financial and commercial services as well as fashion brands, restaurants and bars, Spinningfields serves an affluent business and resident community that also attracts 5.5 million visitors a year.
The Mayfield site is one of the city’s most exciting regeneration plans on the horizon – a brand-new urban quarter that will comprise 1,300 new homes, 800 sq.ft of office space, a hotel and plenty of retail and leisure space. With 6.5 acres of green space located within Mayfield, it’s a mixed-use development that would create a new destination within the city.
Other developments include Great Northern Warehouse – initially a £15 million plan to refurbish the structure with new shops and leisure facilities – and St Michaels, a vast £200 million redevelopment featuring a 5* hotel, offices and roof garden behind the Bootle Street police station.
Many regional cores across the UK are utilising increased growth to push bigger and better projects, driving tenant demand and vastly increasing property prices. As an investor, identifying these up-and-coming areas can be a great way of building a successful, diverse investment portfolio.