Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, the BBC’s Tom Wrathmell and urban design author David Rudlin are among the speakers announced for the West Midlands’ event programme at the UK’s biggest real estate conference.   

The trio will join a diverse delegation of real estate experts and local authority leaders on the West Midlands pavilion at the UK’s Real Estate and Infrastructure Investment Forum (UKREiiF). Led by West Midlands Mayor Richard Parker, the West Midlands will exhibit collectively at UKREiiF for the first time, showcasing over £20bn in opportunities from across Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Backed by a £1.5bn devolution deal, new Growth Zone powers, and a region-wide, innovation-led Investment Zone, the West Midlands’ presence at UKREiiF aims to showcase the collective power of the region. Across the three days, a packed event programme will explore the most pressing topics shaping the real estate sector both in the West Midlands and the wider UK. 

On Tuesday, write and director Steven Knight, will be interviewed about his plans for a new film and TV studio in Birmingham; Tom Wrathmell, Director for Across the UK Strategy at the BBC, will lead a session on how the creative industry is driving broader economic growth and regeneration; and David Rudlin, Director of Urban Design at BDP, will chair a discussion about urban development outside the UK’s cities. On Wednesday, Local authority leaders from Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire, and Wolverhampton will outline how they plan to deliver the new £5.5 billion West Midlands Investment Zone; decision-makers from Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall will discuss how they are deploying more than £600m in devolved housing and land funds’; and, on the back of hosting the ‘best SportAccord ever’, speakers will explore how sport is driving change through regeneration and social inclusion across several of its football clubs.

The West Midlands pavilion is also expected to play host to a series of updates about major development projects that will showcase the transformational power of the region, including Canalside South in Wolverhampton and Mell Square in Solihull. In addition, attendees will be able to get an exclusive look at the revamped West Midlands Investment Prospectus (Tuesday 21 May, 3.30pm) and be among the first to see a brand-new Investment Prospectus for Coventry (Wednesday 22 May, 5pm).

Richard Parker, West Midlands Mayor, said: “The opportunities for investors and developers in the West Midlands are truly impressive, our £20bn Investment Prospectus captures just some of them.

“UKREiiF will see our region come together to engage with those who are eager to capitalise on those opportunities being showcased but also share our vision of building a West Midlands economy that is beneficial and meaningful for all our communities. This is a dynamic region, one that is busy removing the barriers to growth and upskilling its workforce.

“Visitors to the West Midlands pavilion will be able to hear and see how we are speeding up investment and delivery, helping companies to relocate here and developers to build more homes. Our goal is to make the West Midlands the best place in the UK to do business.”

Steven Knight CBE (pic), said: “Birmingham and the wider West Midlands is well on the way to becoming a global destination and creativity is driving some of its most notable regeneration schemes.

“Places like Digbeth, anchored by international brands like the BBC, are bringing a new generation of production and skills that will accelerate the region’s emerging reputation as a creativity powerhouse – and creating new opportunities for the incredibly talented people who live here.” Katie Trout, Director of Policy and Partnerships at the West Midlands Growth Company, said: “The West Midlands is a multi-city region, with an economy comparable to some European countries.

“We’ve also got nine world class universities, rapid transport connections, and the UK's youngest and most diverse population. In short, it’s a region where things are happening, and we’re really proud to be showcasing the collective, transformational power of the West Midlands at UKREiiF for the first time.

“The strength of the speakers gracing the West Midlands pavilion is testament to the breadth and scale of the exciting opportunities taking place all across the region.” Chris Lovatt, Chief Operating Officer at E.ON, West Midlands at UKREiiF Premier Partner, said: “The energy transition is a way not only to create greener cities with better homes, cleaner air and healthier citizens, it’s also a route to regenerating local economies – that’s what we’re striving for in our UK-first strategic partnership with Coventry City Council and it’s what we’re aiming to show people at UKREiiF.

“Whether it is our work in and with Coventry, improving homes with energy efficiency measures across the area or the hundreds of skilled tradespeople coming through our new net zero training academy in Kingswinford these are exciting times across the Midlands and we’re glad to help promote our home region.” The West Midlands’ presence at UKREiiF 2024 is sponsored by E.ON, Deloitte, The Hill Group, Mott MacDonald, Nimbus, Stoford, Wavensmere, Woodbourne Group, Arup, BDP, Cordia UK, Complex Development Projects, Cundall, Lovell Partnerships, Moda Group, Westside BID and WSP.