Top 5 Urban Regeneration Hotspots

The UK is a hotspot for urban regeneration. Many cities are leading the way with ambitious regeneration schemes, with a wealth of opportunities for property investors. But where are the best urban regeneration projects? Below, we discuss the top five urban regeneration hotspots in the UK in 2022.


What is Regeneration?

Regeneration projects cover a variety of different sectors and can include transport, housing, leisure and commercial spaces. Generally speaking, regeneration is the inward investment that towns and cities experience across the entire landscape.

For investors, knowing which locations are undergoing regeneration and where the best urban regeneration projects are is crucial. Whether these include adding a new shopping centre to the city or a completely new transport network, these redevelopments will usually impact the local property market, economy and more importantly, tenant demand. 

More often than not, urban regeneration schemes have positive effects on the local area. As well as attracting new businesses and supporting a highly-skilled workforce, these new developments increase the demand for property as a result of this.

Birmingham is a prime example of one of the best urban regeneration projects in the UK. Since the development of the iconic Bullring in 2003, the city has been undergoing a plethora of redevelopments. Evolving into the Big City Plan, this ambitious project has catalysed a 200% increase in property prices over the past 20 years. 

As a result, we now know Birmingham as the UK’s second city – leading the way for employment opportunities, contemporary living and amenities.

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Key Projects:

Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan
City Park
Lisbon Square


While the Midlands will always be an investment hotspot, Northern cities are beginning to entice more residents and investors. Leeds is one of many cities in the North that are emerging as buy-to-let hotspots with the help of extensive urban regeneration.

Leeds has been hailed for being one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, which when combined with its ongoing regeneration, is driving more businesses and professionals to the North. This thriving city is even an attractive alternative amongst London leavers – since 2018, Leeds has welcomed almost 10% of residents leaving the capital.

The Leeds train station is the biggest transport hub in the city, and is in the process of a multi-million pound regeneration project. The Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan will support forecasted growth in passengers, connect residents with new employment markets and catalyse further investment into the area.

As well as maximising transport links across Leeds, these urban regeneration projects will also expand the city’s core. The Lisbon Square scheme aims to increase the size of the city centre by delivering a combination of commercial, hotel and residential spaces.

While Leeds’ built environment is the main focus for the majority of these regeneration schemes, the City Park project will deliver new green spaces to provide residents with a healthier balance of city and suburban living.



Key Projects:

High Speed 2 (HS2)
Lockside Wharf
Birmingham Smithfield

The Birmingham skyline has changed beyond measure over the last 20 years, introducing new commercial highrises, iconic shopping centres and world class residential developments. While the city remains in the midst of its regeneration, it’s already proving to be a popular destination amongst tenants and investors.

The renowned Bullring catalysed the city’s regeneration 18 years ago, with the revitalisation of New Street Station and Grand Central following shortly after. Since then, the second city has become a thriving transport hub.

The Midlands Metro Expansion is another example of Birmingham’s dedication to becoming an interconnected hub, which will eventually connect the city centre with Edgbaston and Five Ways. This transport project alone has the potential to push property prices by 6% in nearby areas – equating to £14,000, on average.

The increasing transport links across Birmingham are making the city’s expanding commercial district even more accessible. The Paradise project is one of Birmingham’s most well-known urban regeneration plans, which has already attracted several global businesses to the city centre. With the likes of PwC, Mazars and DLA Piper already occupying spaces in this premium office development, the city centre has seen a significant influx in employment opportunities.

Lockside Wharf is the latest addition to Birmingham’s residential market, and will be a hotspot amongst the city’s growing demographic of young professionals. Conveniently located between the city centre and the Jewellery Quarter, this up and coming development is the epitome of high-end waterfront living.

Regeneration projects spread far and wide across Birmingham, with Birmingham Smithfield playing an integral part in the city’s exciting future. Situated in Digbeth, this ongoing regeneration scheme is catering to an expanding rental market. The project emerged from a £1.5 billion investment and will work towards transforming the neighbourhood into a mixed-used hub, full of commercial spaces, new public realms and residential units.

Birmingham Smithfield is one of many regeneration projects in Digbeth, but the HS2 Curzon Street Station is arguably the most exciting. HS2 is the biggest transport scheme in the UK, and Birmingham will play an integral part in the overall project. Reducing the commute between London and Birmingham to just 38 minutes, HS2 will build upon the connections between the two cities. With a forecasted completion date of 2026, this project will bring thousands of new jobs – and young professionals – to Birmingham, which in turn, will support the property market for the years to come.


Key Projects:

Northern Gateway
Manchester Mayfield

Following the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester has been on an upward trajectory. Hosting this worldwide spectacle enticed a wealth of inward investment, which has since seen many investors choose this Northern powerhouse for their buy-to-let investments.

NOMA is arguably the biggest urban regeneration project in Manchester, which will eventually deliver 4 million square feet of new office, retail and leisure spaces. With a £800 million investment, this project will transform Manchester into an attractive destination for young professionals.

Amongst Manchester’s exciting regeneration schemes is the redevelopment of the Northern Gate – a £9 billion investment project that will repurpose a 155 hectare site in central Manchester. By adding new homes, schools and public spaces along the Northern Gateway, this area of Manchester will be a breath of fresh air away from the city centre.

Incorporating more green spaces across Manchester is a big focus for the local council, with the Mayfield regeneration project set to deliver the city’s first new public park in 100 years, along with new neighbourhoods and amenities.


Key Projects:

Nightingale Quarter
Becketwell Performance Venue
Castleward Urban Village

Derby has a colourful history that can be traced back to the industrial era. Housing the UK’s first factories and catalysing the Industrial Revolution, Derby has established a solid reputation for the East Midlands. While Derby is renowned for its history, the city continues to build upon its manufacturing links.

The manufacturing industry remains the biggest contributor to Derby’s local economy, with this sector alone providing around 45,000 jobs. Housing the likes of Rolls Royce, Bombardier Transportation and Toyota, Derby is a hub of highly-skilled workers.

As the economy continues to expand and highlights the potential of Derby, the city is experiencing more urban regeneration. The Derby City Centre Masterplan 2030 is at the centre of Derby’s future, and is gradually transforming it into a leading UK city.

Forecasting a completion date of 2030, this expansive scheme will deliver new retail hotspots, leisure facilities and prestigious residential developments. While the project alone will provide around 4,000 new jobs and 1,900 additional homes in the city centre, the Derby City Centre Masterplan also has ambitions of leveraging £3.5 billion of investment.

The Derby property market has long suffered from a chronic undersupply of property, and with the city’s ongoing regeneration enticing more residents and investors to the area, the demand for additional residential property is only growing.

As a result, the city’s Local Plan has been designed to help close this widening gap between supply and demand. With the intention of delivering 13,000 new residential neighbourhoods across Derby by 2028, in addition to 199 hectares of commercial land and 100,000 sqm of new office space, this is one of the best urban regeneration projects in the UK for 2022.

Amongst Derby’s residential developments is Nightingale Quarter – an expansive project that is redefining the standards of living in the city. Comprising 800 contemporary apartments in the heart of the city centre, Nightingale Quarter is a thoughtful redevelopment of a historic landmark. Preserving two of the site’s iconic ‘pepper pots’, this development is ideal for those looking for contemporary living solutions with a rich heritage.


Key Projects:

West Barr
Leah’s Yard
Pinstone Street

Sheffield’s Heart of the City Masterplan kickstarted a myriad of regeneration projects across the city. While several areas have already seen extensive redevelopment, including St. Paul’s Tower, the Winter Garden and Peace Gardens, there are more projects on the horizon.

The following phases of the Heart of the City Masterplan will see over £470 million invested into new retail spaces, leisure facilities and additional office spaces. Key projects within this scheme include Leah’s Yard and Pinstone Street. Leah’s Yard involves the restoration of Sheffield’s former industrial workshops, transforming these spaces into a destination for local traders and independent businesses.

Pinstone Street is yet another component of Sheffield’s wider regeneration, and will soon deliver a new hub for commercial or retail units in the centre of the city. Overlooking the Peace Gardens, this will work towards cementing the town as a destination for living, working and socialising.

While the city centre is the main focus of Sheffield’s urban regeneration, the West Bar project is increasing the overall appeal of the city. An expansive mixed-use development on the outskirts of Sheffield, this scheme will house hotels, leisure facilities and retail hubs.

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