Now, more than ever, creating quality places where people want to be and can thrive is fundamental to a well-functioning society. Moreover, good environments – our homes, workplaces, schools, our neighbourhoods and town centres – have become even more essential to wider societal goals. We know they play an important part in our health and wellbeing. We can see how the design of places – whether at neighbourhood or city scale – can have a more beneficial impact on our planet, by encouraging and enabling people to make positive environmental choices as well as providing the habitats that sustain nature. And they underpin both local and national economies, since attractive workplaces, in a good environment, are an essential part of the mix in attracting and retaining businesses and people.

The delivery of such places is complex and has become even more so within the current context and challenges. This sustained period of constrained local authority resources is set to continue; the worsening cost of living crisis, inflation and labour constraints; the shifting pattern of living and nature of work triggered by the global pandemic, all impact the real estate industry and sit alongside the climate emergency and shifting geo-politics.

To achieve the best in the face of such challenges it is even more important that we work collaboratively, to both unlock and get the best from development and regeneration opportunities. The British Property Federation (BPF) and its members are firm believers in this power of partnership, one that leverages the collective energy, skills and knowledge of the different partners across the public and private sectors to make things happen. And while
partnerships bring their own challenges, they can also bring significant rewards.

It is for this reason that the BPF’s Development Committee wanted to drill down to find the ingredients of successful partnership-led development – the secret sauce – to help advance other such endeavours. To shine a light on some examples that have paid, or will soon pay, dividends for everyone involved especially the people who are living and working in the places that the patience and relationships, commitment, and hard yards on all sides have brought in to existence.

So, a special thank you to everyone who has generously offered their experience and insights we are now sharing with you; especially TOWN, Cambridge City Council, Brighton and Hove City Council, U+I, the University of Brighton, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle University, and Legal and General, along with the members of the BPF Development Committee.

We hope this report provides useful pointers for anyone setting out on partnership working and conveys a strong sense of what can be gained by building strong alliances across the public and private sector.