Freehold went ‘on tour’ to Leeds in May, attending the UK’s Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF), a three-day conference, for the real estate and infrastructure sectors. Built around the Building Back Better and Levelling Up agendas, it was created to help the sectors meet, develop business, and create solutions to industry problems and has a strong focus on diversity and inclusion – www.ukreiif.com
Working with Leeds City Council on numerous events across Leeds for UKREiiF, we were invited by the event organisers to arrange a fringe event focussed on engaging with LGBTQ+ delegates, allies and other local networks.
We were delighted to win The LandAid Award for outstanding contribution to help end youth homelessness, presented at the awards dinner on the Tuesday night.
Thanks to the very generous sponsorship of TFT, Building Consultants www.tftconsultants.com , we held a net-walking tour by a local blue Badge Tour guide that showcased how the LGBTQ+ community in Leeds has helped drive inclusivity, regeneration and economic growth across the region, as well as a few famous sights starting at Leeds Dock/Royal Armouries then ending in Leeds Freedom Quarter. We were joined by local celebrity and entrepreneur, Terry George, who owes several bars in the city and runs the Mr Gay Uk competition.
The evening continued with a drink’s reception at the Leeds Marriott Hotel, where we were lucky to have a couple of keynote speeches about the city and its development delivered by:
- Cllr James Lewis – Leader of Leeds City Council
- Sharon Slinger – Founder, Constructing Rainbows
We also heard from local charity, Angels of Freedom, who patrol the Freedom Quarter on Friday and Saturday nights providing support and added security for people visiting the bars and clubs. We raised over £500 on the night to help their great work.
The conversations went on late into the night and it was great to see and hear how welcoming the gay scene in Leeds is, especially it very success Pride in August.
We will be back to Leeds for sure and aspire arrange more Freehold events outside London.