Last Wednesday, January 25, UK Property Forums launched CamPropFest + Eastern Echo awards at its UKPropSocial: Cambridge event.

The event, held at Mills & Reeve’e Cambridge offices, discussed the current state of the Eastern Region’s market and included a panel featuring Matt Lee, Head of Life Science, Carter Jonas; Katherine Friend, Asset Manager, Howard Group; Charles Staveley, Partner – Real Estate, Mills & Reeve and Richard Janes, Head of Development, Savills Cambridge and was moderated by Matthew Battle, Managing Director, UK Property Forums.

The panel discussed life sciences and clustering in the region, as well as topical issues such as the cost of housing in and around Cambridge, as well as the lack of housing, and how the city will cope with more science and technology parks being built, where the labour influx which will come with it will live. One possible solution mentioned by the panel, was the re-purposing of existing buildings located in Cambridge such as The Grafton Centre, where underused space is re-used more effectively to reflect market demand.

There was also discussion around the newly announced Oxford to Cambridge Pan Regional Partnership, and the arguments for having Oxford and Cambridge not as competitors but as a joint force to compete globally.

An interesting point was also made around the danger of only having one industry focus on life sciences in the city, and the effects it could have on the population, as well as what would happen to local amenities needed for neighbourhoods with the increasing costs and the desperate need for housing.

The event also acted as the official launch of 2023’s CamPropFest + Eastern Echo Awards, which following the success of the inaugural event last year will once again be held at Homerton College’s New Dining Hall, and will be in partnership with LandAid.

The awards evening will follow a similar format to last year, with awards presented in the following categories:

  • Award for Best Law Firm
  • Award for Deal of the Year (new for 2023)
  • Nature-based Solutions Award (new for 2023)
  • Award for Best Planning Consultant
  • Award for Best Architect or Landscape Architect
  • Award for Best Contractor
  • Award for Best Residential Development
  • Award for Best Commercial Project
  • Award for Project of the Year
  • Rising Star of the Year
  • Award for Property Leader/Team of the Year

Following submission, entries will be judged by a panel of judges, jointly chaired by Matthew Battle, managing director and founder of UK Property Forums, and Nicholas Bewes, chair of LandAid Eastern Regions. The full panel of judges can be seen here.

Confirmed sponsors for the evening are AIPUT, Carter Jonas, DevComms, Mills & Reeve and Savills, with more to be announced in due course.

Matthew Battle, managing director and founder of UK Property Forums said: “Based on the responses of the panel at our event, the life science sector will continue to drive the property market across the East of England.  However, it continues to change and evolve into clusters and the property market needs to ensure that the product matches tenant demand.

“Despite the life-science-focussed discussions going on, there are some great schemes happening across the region and after the success of last year’s Eastern Echo Awards event, as the joint chair of the judging panel I am really excited about launching this year’s awards and identifying the best in class across the property sector.”

Tom Fraser, head of office at Savills Cambridge, said: “We’re delighted to have been asked to continue our sponsorship of the Eastern Echo Awards. Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success and provided an excellent opportunity to showcase all of the fantastic work that is happening across the region, as well as a chance to recognise the great talent we have within our workforce.  There continues to be strong opportunities for growth in the East of England and we’re excited to see what this year has to offer.”

A spokesperson from LandAid said: “LandAid is immensely proud to be supported by CamPopFest + Eastern Echo Awards again in 2023. Last year we raised over £3,000 to support local youth homelessness charities, and we are grateful for the generosity of the property industry to help us tackle this problem once again.”

The deadline for award entry submissions is 6.00 pm, Friday, March 31. Full details on the awards, as well as the submission form, can be found here.

Image shows Eastern Echo Award winners from 2022.

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