We recently welcomed more than 600 guests to our inaugural summer party at 8 Albert Embankment.
Unleash and inspire was the theme, celebrating purpose and our journey so far, the objective.
In true U+I style, we brought our values of imagination, intelligence and audacity to life as we thanked our team and guests for a record year, cemented existing relationships and built new ones.
When we set up U+I we wanted to create a company that had a purpose: we wanted to show the world that our brilliant team – working in partnership with many of those at the event – can deliver excellent returns for our shareholders and positive, sustainable change in the communities where we work. Profit with purpose, if you like.
Three years on, we are in a pretty good place: a pipeline of over thirty projects for the next ten years with a gross development value of £7 billion that can generate returns in good times as well as bad.
Our commitment to purpose, which combines shareholder returns with the creation of long-term, sustainable, socio-economic benefit inspires trust with our public sector partners – allowing us to develop long term relationships in an environment where we can all thrive.
Opening the event, CEO Matthew Weiner remarked:
“We believed three years ago that such a company was right for the time – when such an approach was so needed in our towns and cities. Now, I think it is more necessary than ever.”
Richard Upton remarked that as a business and as a sector we need to ‘unleash and inspire’. He said: “People in the property business need to embrace regeneration and unleash their passion, their creativity, their generosity to create real value for society – and inspire others to do the same, and for the public to think better of us for doing so.”
The party was hosted at The Workshop at 8 Albert Embankment, the site of the old London Fire Brigade headquarters. A long-term regeneration of this historic site is underway and to kick things off, U+I has brought the semi-vacant site back to life through an inspiring range of worthwhile activity. A range of social enterprises and charities now call The Workshop home - from the Migration Museum which explores the importance of the UK’s migration history, to the Institute of Imagination which hosts workshops for children, families and schools to make the most of their imagination.
Remarking on the exciting plans for 8 Albert Embankment, Richard Upton, said:
“Regeneration is a big thing. Done well, it can give so much back to society. Done brilliantly, it can be transformative. We in the property sector need to wake up to this and all think about how we can use our skills, knowledge and creativity to bring places like this one back to life.”
At U+I we know that to truly unleash and inspire may mean treading on a few old-fashioned toes along the way, upsetting some vested interests, unnerving those who prefer things not to change.
But that is what any organisation with a sense of purpose is likely to do. And we’re not afraid to lead the way.