Last week Grain were delighted to sponsor RESI 2019. The annual conference once again highlighted hot topics within the house building world underlying challenges and opportunities in the sector.
This year’s conference centred around the theme “A brave new mixed up world” with particular emphasis placed on mixed-use developments, with build to rent dominating the conversations.
Over 700 people attended the conference which took place as usual at the fantastic Celtic Manor in Newport and was hosted by BBC news’ Mark Easton.
The opening speech was powerfully delivered by the TV presenter Julia Bradbury, provoking discussion on social responsibility in the housing sector, as well as the missing safe net for vulnerable people who find themselves homeless.
In a moving address, she spoke about her week-long experience sleeping rough and urged those in attendance to do what they can to help plug the gaps, especially during the early days of an individual’s life without a home.
Day two saw Esther McVey’s first public speech since her appointment as Minister of State for Housing and Planning. Seemingly misjudging the room, the Minister implied that “rent” might be a dirty word. Mrs McVey expressed her support for the help to buy scheme and tacitly avoided addressing the housing white paper, which is eagerly expected by the housing sector.
Day two also saw Grain host their first at RESI round table. The invite only event saw representatives from Greystar, Moda, Grainger, Crest Nicholson, Homes England, Landsec, AECOM and Places for People take part in engaging discussions. Addressing the rise of the smart home as well as the emergence of 5G technology, Rich Robinson, MD of Grain Connect led the discussion which unanimously concluded that fast and reliable broadband is now a norm which developers and BTR operators are often challenged to meet, given the incumbent infrastructure’s limitations.
Grain and its valued guests including Wiredscore.com’s Henry Pethybridge, also delved into policy changes necessary to facilitate delivery and improve customer satisfaction in the future.
After several highly insightful panels throughout the day, on subjects ranging from home certification to modular housing, the Gala dinner was a fantastic opportunity to network late into the night and have fun trying to figure out how Britain’s Got Talent DNA act managed to read the audience’s minds. We are still none the wiser!
The final day of the event delivered more panel discussions, and finally an address from Theresa May’s Head of Communications during her premiership, Sir Robbie Gibb. Some insight was gained into the potential course Brexit might take, with the only certainty being that nobody could be certain!
We would like to thank all those who took the time to talk with the Grain team at the event, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with our only regret that we didn’t have a chance to speak with more of you! In the meantime, if you would like to connect please get in touch: