Build To Rent: A national phenomenon with local challenges and opportunities


In this article, we look at the progress made so far on setting up the UKAA’s regional hubs, immediate plans for their activities and future prospects.


Growing and Responding to a Changing Market

In the early days of Build To Rent (BTR), its limits were more confined geographically. As activity in this asset class grows across the United Kingdom, it has become clear that while the BTR market across that geography shares challenges and features, there remain local level challenges and opportunities to be negotiated. Examples of such features include the local economy, local leadership capacity for vision creation, investment, infrastructure and approaches to planning.

The UKAA has been working on setting up a number of regional hubs across the country with a view to helping local BTR markets to develop and grow.


What’s Happened So Far?

The following steering groups have been established to lead and inaugurate the regional forums in Scotland:

  • Martin Devine, Pinsent Masons
  • Will Scarlett, Scarlett Developments
  • Stuart Montgomery, Lismore Capital
  • Gillian McLees, Rettie & Co
  • Andy Whitmey, Umega
  • Adam Russell, L&G
  • Michael Howard, Urban Bubble


And in the North West:

  • Kate Howell, The Keel Liverpool
  • Ben Etherington, Loft
  • Tom Moreton, HPS Services
  • Simon Scrase, Etex Group
  • Dougie Orton-Wade, Duet Salford Quays
  • Michael Howard, Urban Bubble


Work is underway by both Steering Groups, leveraging understanding of local markets, to build programs of activities that will:

  • showcase what BTR has to offer to the community and economy
  • map and understand local challenges and opportunities to the development and delivery of BTR
  • propagate a wider network of support for BTR buyers and suppliers in regions covered with a program of events, training and socials
  • gathering market data and insights to promote understanding of best practice, customer and market trends


For example, among the first activities of the Scottish Hub will be the organisation of a study tour to the Manchester region to learn more about the best practices being demonstrated there. A number of roundtables focusing on specifics of the Scottish market are planned for late this year and into next year. Gillian McLees, Rettie and Co has written more about the UKAA Scottish Hub and the future of BTR in Scotland in the latest edition of CityLets.


How you can get involved

Further regional hubs are planned in the North East, Midlands, Wales and South West with a focus on key cities within each region. If you are interested in becoming involved in our regional hubs’ activities please email for further details.