City centre revivals

  • 04th Jul 22
City centre revivals

Towns and cities across the country are on the cusp of being transformed under plans set out in the Levelling Up White Paper. We look at the role that Build to Rent has in rejuvenating these areas.

Future planning

Over the next decade, levelling up will be high on the agenda in terms of real estate. Whatever government is in power, voters will want an end to seeing bordered-up shops and empty buildings.

Bring back communities

When the high street is neglected and shops stay empty and café shut their doors, it has a profound effect on the whole community. People want to live in a thriving hub that can serve the community and bring a sense of togetherness. Without local amenities, living can become challenging for older people or those with young families. Popping to your local high street to pick up essentials or grab a coffee is not just convenient, it creates connections with neighbours and leads to a friendly and more caring community.  

The role of Build to Rent

Build to Rent embraces everything about communities and creating vibrant neighbourhoods where people want to live. It is a rapidly growing sector across Britain with the latest statistics showing there are now 212,177 BTR homes in the UK, of which 70,785 are complete, 42,119 are under construction and 99,273 are in planning. These figures show the sector has a crucial role to play in levelling up.

The role of mixed-use developments

Build to Rent represent the very best in mixed-use development, which combines residential and commercial space. Traditionally, a mixed-use property has places like retail space, restaurants, bars, or cafes on the ground floor and apartments on the second floor. Recently many mixed-use developments have transformed their retail space into health care spaces and offices. It is not just in apartments where there are a range of amenities, Build to Rent providers are creating communities for people living in a range of properties from apartments, duplexes, and houses.  

Benefits of living in a mixed-use development

From an environmental, convenience and cost perspective, being able to walk to get everything you need is high on the tenants’ wish list. This in turn supports local businesses and builds the community, breathing life back into neglected areas.

Retail and residential

The partnership of retail with residential is a match made in heaven. Build to Rent is moving into traditional retail town centres, many of which require investment, to create high-quality homes located close to transport and other services. This brings in the opportunity to create more sustainable town centres and brings in new, exciting retail partners.

Listening and learning

To truly understand how to help a town or city to level up, it is important to listen and learn from the key stakeholders, something that Build to Rent providers have been doing for years. Get Living, which owns and manages large, mixed-use neighbourhoods at London’s East Village, Elephant & Castle and Manchester, with more to come in Lewisham, Glasgow and Leeds, understand they can create lasting change by carefully curating the retail offer. This includes backing independent retailers such as the family-owned Italian artisan bakery Signorelli based at East Village.

Creative ideas to build lasting communities

While Build to Rent residents enjoy high-quality and well-designed homes in a location with great facilities such as shops, schools, health care centres and coffee shops and restaurants, the Build to Rent experts are also investing in exploring other creative ways to enhance communities. Things that have already been achieved include Get Living’s ‘The Lab E20’, which is an experiential space for culture, creativity and community. Embraced by locals, schools and creative Londoners who may never have heard of the development, The Lab E20 has created a new level of participation in the area, serving as a retail space and even a Christmas market event space. With the government backing a levelling up of towns and cities across the UK, we expect to see even more creative solutions from Build to Rent developers.



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