Our Thought Leadership Regional Lunches are hosted by our CEO, Kim Vernau, and other senior representatives from BLP. They are limited to a small number of selected guests, enabling us to assemble a key group of industry peers each of whom enjoy unrestricted opportunities to participate in the interactive discussions and put questions to renowned guest speakers.
This presents our guests with an opportunity to network with other senior executives who are also charged with formulating corporate strategies, creating innovative products and services and facing the challenges of business transformation in a digital age, whilst contending with complex and ever expanding regulations.
Guests hear ideas in the making and feel the pulse of our industry. We hope to enable them to enrich their own thinking by hearing how others perceive the business, shape their competitive advantage and plan for uncertain futures. These events are held over lunch, in exquisite surroundings and an atmosphere charged with creativity to deliver mutual benefit.
Manchester, 27 June 2019
The French at The Midland | Guest Speaker: Tom Bloxham MBE
"Modular housing is efficient, affordable, and increasingly desirable; so, what’s the problem?"
In bringing relief to housing problems in the UK, the private rented sector can only be truly effective if property ownership becomes more accessible. As long as the sector remains an incubator for wealth, a true solution is only shifted further into the future. Tom believes that a pragmatic solution must be seized and acted upon now; to provide more affordable housing for more people in more places.
In this session Tom explored the role, the practicalities, and the funding of modular housing. He speaks from deep experience, having worked for 25 years on more than 60 highly challenging regeneration schemes, and now pioneering efficient factory methods through a modular production facility owned and operated by Urban Splash.
Tom is an extremely engaging speaker and dynamic entrepreneur, whose exploits in the housing sector have created thousands of jobs, revitalised communities and made stylish and desirable living spaces accessible.
Video: Modular housing is efficient, affordable, and increasingly desirable; so, what’s the problem?
London, 2 May 2019
The Soho Hotel | Guest Speaker: Liz Peace CBE
"The barriers to urban regeneration: How can we work together to overcome them?"
Urban regeneration plays a major role within the present and future direction of UK’s housing landscape. From Glasgow to London, our urban landscape is in dire need of redevelopment. As an industry, it is time that we examined how urban regeneration is perceived by the public, local authorities and government and where in some cases we are going wrong. If we can address these issues, we can deliver more affordable, better designed houses in a more effective and efficient manner.
Read the full White Paper: "It's time to rethink urban regeneration"
Video: Rethinking urban regeneration to deliver better housing in the UK
London, 28 June 2018
Berry Bros. & Rudd | Guest Speaker: Paul Nash
"Quality - why is the construction industry getting it wrong?"
The construction industry is coming under increasing scrutiny for its failure to consistently deliver quality in the buildings and infrastructure that it creates. It is an issue that impacts on the reputation of the sector at a time when the industry is struggling to attract and retain the new talent that it so desperately needs. Recent events, notably the collapse of a wall at a primary school in Edinburgh that led to the closure of multiple other schools, and the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, have served to highlight the consequences of poor quality in construction and the urgent need to understand the root causes of failure. Kim Vernau, CEO at BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers at which guest speaker Paul Nash discussed the need for the construction industry to adopt new strategies and policies to ensure quality.
Read the full White Paper: "Quality - why is the construction industry getting it wrong?"
Video: Quality - why is the construction industry getting it wrong?
Luton, 24 May 2018
Luton Hoo Hotel | Guest Speaker: Mark Farmer
"A year is a long time in construction"
Over a year and a half has passed since the publication of Mark Farmer’s highly critical and widely-lauded report on the construction industry, Modernise or Die. The report examined the construction sector, its ills and what is needed to ensure that the industry is fit for the 21st century. Kim Vernau, CEO at BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers at which guest speaker Mark Farmer examined the progress the industry has made since the publication of Modernise or Die, concluding that although there are signs of progress the sector has still a long way to go.
Read the full White Paper: 'Progress made but more urgency required: The construction industry 18 months on from the Farmer Review'
Video: A year is a long time in construction
Manchester, 19 April 2018
Hotel Gotham | Guest Speaker: Rosie Toogood
"Factory-made homes set to modernise the housing industry"
The UK construction industry has been set a steep challenge by the incumbent government of building 300,000 homes a year by 2022.
Against the backdrop of a UK housing crisis where the industry is struggling to house future generations, failing to reach this target is simply not an option. There is no silver bullet and a solution can only be found if the industry innovates, not least in the fundamental areas of construction.
Kim Vernau, CEO at BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers. This focused on the role of precision engineered factory manufactured homes, delivered on a large scale, in disrupting the UK housing industry. Guest speaker, Rosie Toogood, Chief Executive of Legal & General Modular Homes, provided a wake-up call that without disruption the future of housing construction will not be able to progress.
Read the full White Paper: 'Factory-made homes set to modernise the housing industry'
Video: Factory-made homes set to modernise the housing industry
London, 8 February 2018
Berry Bros. & Rudd | Guest Speaker: Alex Notay
"What does successful collaboration look like in the construction sector?"
The government has set itself the demanding challenge of building 300,000 new homes by 2022; however a number of long-standing issues within the construction sector are still acting as road blocks to tangible progress. In order to deliver on housing supply, through a more efficient, productive and aspirational construction sector, the industry requires wholesale innovation and collaboration.
Kim Vernau, CEO at BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the need for collaboration and innovation in the construction industry, with a particular emphasis placed on offsite construction. Guest speaker, Alex Notay, Director of Product and Service Innovation at Places for People, one of the UK’s largest development, regeneration and management companies, provided valuable insight from the perspective of creating effective community outcomes through successful collaboration. This paper summarises her speech on this subject.
Read the full White Paper: 'What does successful collaboration look like in the construction sector?'
Video: What does successful collaboration look like in the construction sector?
Birmingham, 23 November 2017
BANK Restaurant | Guest Speaker: Andrew Stanford
"Have we mastered build-to-rent yet?"
In April 2013 the Coalition Government signalled the importance of the role of the private rented sector (PRS) in the UK’s housing market with the launch of the PRS taskforce, with a view to stimulating the supply of and investment in purpose built rental development (build-to-rent).
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the evolution of the build-to-rent sector. Guest speaker Andrew Stanford, head of Residential at LaSalle Investment Management, reflected on his two year tenure heading up the PRS Taskforce and posed the question as to whether as an industry and country we have mastered build-to-rent yet, presenting his views on land supply, notions of how to attract global investment and the economic and political climate affecting the sector.
Read the full White Paper: 'Have we mastered build-to-rent yet?'
Video: Have we mastered build-to-rent yet?
Marlow, 9 November 2017
Danesfield House Hotel | Guest Speaker: Liz Peace CBE
"Is urban regeneration worth the effort?"
The UK’s housing crisis continues to plague policy makers, with ongoing discussions around different solutions to meet the challenge of shortages in housing supply. Regeneration offers the government and broader housing sector the opportunity to address this fundamental issue, while also reviving parts of the UK by driving growth, creating new jobs, and redistributing the population to address overcrowding.
Kim Vernau, CEO at BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on whether regeneration can really work in practice to alleviate pressure on the housing market. Guest speaker Liz Peace, CBE and Chair of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, provided valuable insight on the merits of urban regeneration versus starting from scratch elsewhere, also highlighting the complex range of public policy issues now on the agenda around housing and infrastructure funding.
Read the full White Paper: 'Is urban regeneration worth the effort?'
Video: Is urban regeneration worth the effort?
Watch the short film of our first six lunches:
London, 18 May 2017
The Zetter | Guest Speaker: Richard Saxon CBE
"Construction in crisis: is off-site manufacturing the answer?"
The London housing market is feeling the brunt of skilled labour shortages in the construction industry, in the absence of a much needed government push towards research, development, and training. In comparison to other countries such as Japan, the UK is lagging far behind.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance, highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on offsite construction as the solution to an industry in crisis. Guest speaker and Non-Executive Director, Richard Saxon, provided a reality check into how skills and innovation gaps in the UK are limiting progress and why a top-to-bottom shake up is required if there is going to be any sign of a recovery.
Read the full White Paper: "Construction in crisis: is offsite manufacturing the answer?"
Manchester, 30 March 2017
King Street Townhouse | Guest Speaker: Paul Beardmore
"The value of modular construction in revitalising the housing market"
Housing in Manchester is experiencing a significant turnaround, with an overall rise in residential developments demonstrating a new confidence in the market. Despite this growth, there is still significant undersupply to meet demand, presenting a major opportunity for investors and developers to embrace alternative methods of construction and new partnerships to bring forward development.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the value of modular construction in revitalising the housing market. Guest speaker, Paul Beardmore, director of housing at Manchester City Council, provided an engaging insight into the council’s approach to residential growth in the city, and the essential need for collaboration and shared vision between the development and construction industry and key policy makers.
Read the full White Paper: Read the full White Paper: "The value of modular construction in revitalising the housing market"
Cambridge, 23 February 2017
King's College | Guest Speaker: Dr Jennifer Schooling
"The role of sensors and data in informing sustainable design, construction, and management decisions within the built environment"
Ageing and inadequate infrastructure, which fails to meet our society’s changing demographics and lifestyle needs presents an increasing challenge for the future of our UK cities.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the role of sensors and data in informing sustainable design and management decisions within the built environment. Guest speaker Jennifer Schooling, director of the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction at the University Cambridge, provided an engaging insight into the world of engineering and advances being made to harness information more effectively in infrastructure projects.
Bath, 19 January 2017
Lucknam Park | Guest Speaker: Charles Secrett
"The drivers for sustainability in construction and the urban environment"
At a local, national and global level business as usual simply isn’t working when it comes to construction and the urban environment, and the cost of inaction is becoming increasingly clear.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the drivers for sustainability in construction and the urban environment. Guest speaker Charles Secrett, co-founder of The Robertsbridge Group, led the thought provoking debate on the essential roles and responsibilities for insurers, construction professionals and city planners to help accelerate a sustainable and prosperous future.
Read the full White Paper: Read the full White Paper: "The drivers for sustainability in construction and the urban environment"
Birmingham, 10 November 2016
BANK Restaurant | Guest Speaker: Mark Farmer
"The burning platform for construction"
The UK construction industry faces irreversible decline over the next decade unless industry leaders, market participants and the government take fundamental steps right now to change how the industry works.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance highlighted these key points at an interactive discussion organised for industry peers on the uncertain future of the UK construction industry, due to its growing skills shortage. Guest speaker Mark Farmer, CEO of Cast Consultancy, led a call to action, discussing the need for the adoption of more pre-manufacture led construction, with a greater use of automation, leading to a changing skills mix for the future which embraces digital engineering.
London, 27 September 2016
The Zetter | Guest Speaker: Paul Fletcher
"The fourth industrial revolution and the built environment"
The evolving nature of how people live is creating a much needed catalyst for change in the built environment industries.
Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance highlights the key points raised at an interactive discussion on “Building as a Service” organised for industry peers. Guest speaker Paul Fletcher led the thought provoking session, providing the context for change and posing the question of just how smart do we need to be to meet the needs of an agile society. If Smart Buildings are dependent on the internet of things are those ‘things’ good enough and are the buildings we create any better? Indeed, how is combining them ‘smart’?