Interested in urban regeneration in the UK? Then you’ve come to the right place!
This top 7 list will outline the best urban regeneration areas in the UK in 2022.
Other topics in this guide will include:
- What is urban regeneration?
- Urban regeneration projects in the UK
- Latest regeneration schemes
- Urban regeneration examples
So, whether you’re a real estate investor looking for your next investment area or you just want to know more about urban development in the UK, this is the perfect guide for you.
Keep reading to learn more.
Interested in a specific location? Click the images below and jump to the right section.
Urban Regeneration Definition
So, what is urban regeneration?
Urban regeneration is the investment of money used to improve the infrastructure, quality of living, and economy in an area.
The money invested can be from public or private sources, and is often a key component of city planning and town planning, with most local councils having a comprehensive regeneration masterplan.
You can learn all about urban regeneration, the different types of urban renewal, and urban regeneration examples in our blog post: what is urban regeneration?
Key Urban Regeneration Projects:
- Knowledge Quarter
- Liverpool Waters
Where better to start on our list than perhaps one of the greatest urban regeneration success stories and top UK regeneration areas of the last century?
The European Capital of Culture in 2008, Liverpool regeneration has transformed the Merseyside city over the last two decades, thanks to billions of pounds pumped into the local economy.
With several iconic urban regeneration projects dotted across the metropolis valued at a whopping £14bn, Liverpool now sits as the top UK city for computer science research and is the second-fastest-growing digital cluster in the UK.
One of the best examples of inner-city regeneration, the North West city has played host to some of the UK’s most expansive (and expensive) regeneration schemes and regeneration projects.
Undoubtedly the best urban regeneration projects seen in Liverpool regeneration are:
- LiverpoolONE – a massive £960m outdoor shopping centre credited as the catalyst for further regeneration by attracting substantial private investment in Liverpool city centre.
- Knowledge Quarter – a £2bn inner-city regeneration project that significantly improved education in Liverpool city centre. Thanks to the urban regen, the area is home to the Royal College of Physicians, three Liverpool universities, and more.
- Liverpool Waters – An upcoming £5.5bn inner-city regeneration project introducing five new neighbourhoods to Liverpool city centre.
Aside from Liverpool Waters, there is currently a tonne of ongoing Liverpool regeneration projects.
Ongoing urban regeneration examples in Liverpool include the development of the iconic Lime Street and The Strand, the expansion of the world-famous Anfield stadium, the new Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium, a £500m city-wide road improvement, and Ten Streets – a brand-new neighbourhood in the heart of the city.
If you’re a real estate investor and want to learn more about investing in Liverpool, be sure to check out our comprehensive Liverpool property investment for the latest market analysis.
Key Urban Regeneration Projects:
Perhaps the biggest rival of Liverpool regeneration, Manchester regeneration has been equally as massive, helping to build up the city as one of the UK’s premier economic powerhouses.
With billions spent on urban regeneration and inner-city regeneration in Manchester, the North West city is home to some of the UK’s biggest companies.
Alongside companies like the BBC and ITV calling Manchester home, more and more people are choosing to move to the city.
In fact, Manchester was voted the UK’s best place to live by the Global Liveability Survey, which measures the quality of living in a city based on health care, education, culture, and infrastructure.
The proof is in the pudding with Manchester regeneration, with the cities population growing by nearly 30% since 1990.
Examples of regeneration schemes and urban regeneration projects in Manchester include:
- Spinningfields – A £1.5bn redevelopment in Manchester city centre that added Grade A office space and attracted over 150 financial and commercial organisations.
- MediaCityUK – A £2bn project that transformed Salford Quay’s derelict docklands. The scheme has since attracted the likes of the BBC and ITV away from London.
- NOMA – A £800m mixed-use development in Manchester city centre that has already helped create over four million sq. ft of residential, office, retail and leisure spaces. Work continues still with an extra 620,000 sq ft of new offices that could be built.
Alongside these major initiatives, there is a tonne of ongoing urban regeneration projects in Manchester, including:
- The £1bn Northern Gateway Redevelopment will see the creation of new leisure and commercial spaces and new transport links and public spaces.
- Plans to expand and develop Withington Village, a suburb in south Manchester. Work includes improving public space and green space, creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment, and improving walking and cycling routes to the area.
Manchester is undoubtedly one of the best places to invest in property UK in 2022, boasting one of the most thriving property markets.
To learn more about the city and the investment opportunities on offer from Manchester regeneration, check out our Manchester property investment guide.
Key Urban Regeneration Projects:
- Old Oak Common and Park Royal
- Barking Riverside
As the UK capital, London attracts some of the most significant urban regeneration in the UK.
With tonnes of regeneration areas in London and several iconic London regeneration projects, the city is no stranger to investment, with several massive London regeneration projects over the last 20 years.
With transformative London regeneration projects following the 2012 Olympics, the capital continues to flex its economic muscles.
A report from Knight Frank in 2019 found that London is the world’s number one spot for commercial real estate private investment, seeing around £16.2bn worth of investment – higher than Manhattan, Paris, and Hong Kong.
The best London regeneration areas are currently East London, West London, and North London, with many London regeneration projects in each area.
Current work in London regeneration area East and South East London include:
- Thamesmead – A 30-year master plan looking to build 8,000 new homes and create 4,000 jobs. Further environmental development includes work to 5km of riverbank and 7km of canals.
- Barking Riverside – 10,000 new homes set to be built with the addition of seven brand-new schools.
- Canada Water – Work is ongoing to transform the area into a transport hub by extending the Jubilee Line by 2029.
There’s also several London regeneration schemes and London regeneration areas in the West of London.
- Old Oak Common and Park Royal – A £26 billion project set to create a new transport superhub and a new high street connecting the superhub to the £3bn Imperial College. The transport hub will act as the only HS2 and Crossrail interchange.
Like the other London regeneration areas, there are plenty of London regeneration projects found in the North of London
- Thameslink Station – New transport link to be opened in Brent Cross from 2022 and will offer trains to King’s Cross in 15 minutes. Also, 6,700 new homes are set to be created, with new restaurants, hotels, and cinemas.
- Meridian Water – A new 20-year regeneration masterplan for Upper Lee Valley which will create 10,000 new homes; 40% of those are affordable housing. There’s also set to be new public spaces and community facilities.
If you want to learn more about London regeneration and if you should invest in the London property market in 2022, be sure to read our free 2022 London property investment guide.
Key Urban Regeneration Projects:
- High Speed 2
- Birmingham Smithfield
- Birmingham Big City Plan
The UK’s second city, Birmingham, has soared over the last decade thanks to major economic regeneration.
As one of the UK’s biggest employers, urban regeneration in Birmingham is some of the most extensive ever seen in the country, with billions of pounds worth of regeneration projects ongoing.
Due to these inner-city regeneration initiatives, Birmingham has one of the youngest populations in Europe, with over 40% of the city aged under 25 – a testament to the job opportunities offered.
Birmingham is also a significant student city, with over 100k students living in the West Midlands city and a graduate retention rate of 46% – one of the highest in the UK.
The main urban regeneration projects in this UK city include:
- Big City Plan – A massive regeneration initiative aiming to create 50,000 new jobs with an estimated £2.1 billion for the local economy.
- Birmingham Curzon Street – A brand-new HS2 hub in the heart of Birmingham which is estimated to create 30,000 new jobs. The transport link will also reduce travel time from Birmingham to London to only 45 minutes.
- Birmingham Smithfield – A £1.5bn development of a 14-hectare site creating a whopping 1,000 new homes and 3,000 jobs.
- Midlands Metro Expansion – A major overhaul of Birmingham’s transport system in and out of the city.
- Paradise – A £700m project set to add 1.8 million sq.ft. of office, leisure, and retail space in the heart of Birmingham city centre.
- Arena Central – Another major initiative located near Paradise that will be the home to HSBC’s main headquarters.
HS2 is, in particular, one of the best regeneration projects in the UK due to the potential for further investment as a consequence of the massive project.
Thanks to HS2, Birmingham City Council predicts the development potential in areas such as Eastside and Digbeth will lead to the creation of 36,000 jobs, 4,000 new residential properties, 600,000 sqm of employment space, and £1.4bn in economic uplift.
Birmingham will also be hosting the 2022 Commonwealth games, with further regeneration expected as a result.
Urban regeneration in UK cities is essential, and Birmingham has been transformed with a substantial cash investment.
To learn more about the UK’s second city and why you should invest, be sure to check out our fantastic in-depth Birmingham property investment guide.
- South Bank Leeds
- Leeds General Infirmary
- The Majestic
Another Northern place on this list, this Yorkshire city will see some colossal regeneration schemes in the near future.
Leeds regeneration has helped propel the city into one of the most prevalent buy to let hotspots in the UK.
Currently, the city is one of the fastest-growing in the UK, with around 10% of those leaving London moving to Leeds.
There are currently several expansive urban regeneration projects in this UK city, with Leeds regeneration some of the biggest in the UK.
These Leeds regeneration examples include:
- South Bank Leeds – Over 250 hectares of land set to be regenerated south of the River Aire. The project will see 35,000 jobs and 8,000 new homes created, and will practically double the size of Leeds city centre.
- Leeds General Infirmary – A £450 million cash injection that will see two brand-new hospitals for adults and children. The project will introduce 92,000 sqm of health care space and is part of the NHS’ Hospitals of the Future Programme.
- The Majestic – A new development offering 66,000 sq.ft. of Grade A office space located in City Square. The Majestic is the new home of Channel 4’s national headquarters.
There are plenty of urban regeneration projects currently ongoing in this Yorkshire city.
Significantly, transport links are set to see a significant overhaul with a much-needed revamp of Leeds City Station.
The project is predicted to cost over £3 million and will create new pedestrian areas.
Further regeneration is expected after Leeds City Council secured over £18 million from the Getting Building fund.
These projects include:
- An £8 million transformation of City Park
- A £7 million development of the Temple Green Park and Ride
- £2.6 million on the renovation of homes in the Holbeck area.
These are just some examples of the great work going on in Leeds. With a bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2023, Yorkshire is quickly becoming one of the best UK regeneration areas for 2022.
- The Lexicon
- The Deck
- Princess Square
There are many regeneration areas in the UK, but perhaps an unexpected entry on this list is Bracknell.
With a population size of around 120,000, the town has seen staggering investment levels, with the town centre being transformed into a vibrant site thanks to a multimillion-pound project.
Despite being smaller than other major locations on this list, Bracknell has attracted incredible urban regeneration companies and urban redevelopment, headlined by the £770 million town planning regeneration masterplan ‘Bracknell Vision 2032.’
Part of this regeneration initiative include:
- The Lexicon – a state-of-the-art £240 million shopping centre that opened with 70 new retail and food stores, a 12-screen cinema, and two 80,000 sq. ft stores.
- The Deck – A new area of The Lexicon providing a state-of-the-art public space filled with shops and restaurants.
- Princess Square – A £30 million public square that will see the addition of new escalators, toilets, and seating for shoppers.
This regeneration in the town has been noticed nationally, winning many accolades, such as the Development of the Year at the Thames Valley Property Awards 2018.
Thanks to The Lexicon, plenty of private investment has followed, including a £124 million urban redevelopment of Market Square, Coopers Hill, and Jubilee Gardens, which will introduce 400 new homes.
These examples of urban regeneration in the UK will help Bracknell grow immensely.
As one of the greatest regeneration areas in the UK in 2017, Bracknell has gone from strength to strength and has a bright future ahead.
- Heart of Slough
- Slough Northern Expansion
One regeneration area in the south of the UK that has often gone under the radar is the town of Slough.
Located just outside of regeneration areas London, Slough has a bad reputation of being dull.
However, over the last decade, the area has been completely transformed through regeneration.
Not only has the Slough region become one of the top regeneration areas thanks to prolific regeneration projects, but the area has started to generate one of the strongest local economies in the UK.
The town is home to the largest concentration of global corporate headquarters outside of London. It also features the largest trading park in Europe.
While the town is already thriving, it’s set to soar to even higher heights thanks to various top regeneration projects in the UK.
Urban regeneration projects examples in Slough include:
- Heart of Slough – Part of the Slough Urban Renewal project, this £3bn urban regeneration project has helped rejuvenate several key landmarks, including The Curve and Queensmere shopping centre. The latter will see two million sq.ft. of office space and 500,000 sq.ft. of retail space.
- Crossrail – A £14.8bn railway project improving transport links in and out of central London, with new links connecting Slough to Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf.
- Slough Northern Expansion – A significant urban redevelopment that will create 10,000 new homes.
While Slough may be the butt of the joke in Ricky Gervais’ The Office, it has quickly found its feet as one of the top UK regeneration areas.
After performing well and becoming one of the most exciting regeneration areas in the UK in 2022, the following year is set to be an excellent time for Slough.
Be sure to read our Slough property investment guide for more information on real estate in this South-East town.
More Urban Regeneration Examples
In the UK, thousands of urban redevelopment projects and urban regeneration companies are starting up every year.
While we couldn’t include every city and project on this top 7 list, here are some more excellent regeneration projects in the UK worth knowing about.
The town of Luton is quickly becoming one of the best places to invest thanks to its close ties to London and ever-expanding regeneration initiatives involved in the town planning regeneration masterplan.
Urban regeneration projects examples in Luton include:
- Luton Investment Framework – A £1.5bn urban redevelopment scheme to enhance the Luton area and create over 18,500 new jobs.
- Luton Town Football Club – A state-of-the-art 23,000 seat stadium is set to be built for the football club, estimated at boosting the local economy by £68 million.
- London Luton Airport – A £160 million redevelopment of the local airport will create over 10k jobs by 2030.
Learn more about Luton real estate in our excellent guide to Luton property investment.
Derby is another city that has started to thrive because of urban regeneration. Offering a huge manufacturing sector that employs over 45k people with the likes of Rolls Royce and Toyota, the city is one of the best regeneration areas in the UK.
Urban regeneration examples in Derby include:
- Derby City Centre Masterplan – Set to complete in 2030, this £3.5bn investment will see the creation of 13,000 new residential areas, 100,000 sqm of new office space, and 199 hectares of additional employment land.
- HS2 – Like urban regeneration in Birmingham, Derby will also see massive growth from HS2, with a 52-minute commute to London.
Why Is Urban Regeneration Needed and Why Is It Important for Real Estate Investors and Landlords?
With so many areas being regenerated in the UK, it’s important to understand why regeneration is essential if you’re a property investor or a landlord.
Generally, regeneration makes a city more appealing to live in.
With the creation of new commercial space, new jobs can be offered.
Likewise, new transport links can make it easier to live in the location, and green spaces can make an area more appealing.
This can have a significant impact on the property market.
You only have to look at cities like Manchester to appreciate what regeneration can do to the property sector.
Official Land Registry figures show that Manchester property prices have grown by over 315% since 2001 – the highest of every major UK city.
This growth is a direct consequence of regeneration projects in the UK.
Investing in emerging locations set for a tonne of future regeneration can also make a lot of financial sense.
After all, buying in emerging economic areas means you can get prices considerably lower than the UK average.
Interested in Regeneration UK and Want to Invest? RWInvest Can Help
Many cities and towns are thriving at the moment.
With developers planning tonnes of residential and commercial properties, you may want to invest in property. That’s where we come in.
RWInvest is an award-winning property investment company with 17 years of experience in buy to let investment.
Our detailed guides will help you know more about the UK’s regional cities and find out which are worth your time.
We can help you get affordable housing in the best hotspots in the country, like Liverpool and Manchester, and give you reasons on why you should consider buy to let investment.
Call our expert sales team today to learn more about our exciting opportunities.