Experienced property leader Michele Steel has been appointed as the first Chief Executive of Regeneration Brainery – the pioneering organisation driven to get more diverse young people into property careers.

Having started out as a graduate planner, Michele has over 20 years of property experience having risen to the ranks of Director at Deloitte Real Estate, before more recently holding Strategic Planning Director positions at Select Property and Vita Group.

She’ll now ensure the not-for-profit Regeneration Brainery goes from strength to strength, reaching more young people as part of its mission to diversify and break down barriers to the industry.

Originally established in Manchester in 2017, Regeneration Brainery has expanded across the UK and has now reached more than 6,000 young people through a mix of immersive week-long bootcamps for 14-21-year-olds, in-school taster sessions and careers events, and match-making with industry experts.

Spanning the whole range of placemaking disciplines, the award-winning Brainery has secured the involvement of over 500 industry mentors and almost 100 ambassadors, with events spanning 10 cities and towns including London, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham and Sheffield.

Michele’s determined to scale up its work to reach even more young people by increasing the number of industry partnerships and acting as a beacon on how diversity can be embraced and achieved.

Michele Steel, Chief Executive of Regeneration Brainery, said:

“So often, talented young people are totally unaware of the variety of roles available to them in regeneration and property. They don’t have connections in the industry and in many cases their awareness of potential careers only scratches the surface.

“When it comes to property, representation matters more than most industries, because we play such a crucial role in the creation of entire communities. It was the year 2000 when I started out in the property industry, and whilst the fashion and the tech may have changed rapidly, progress on diversity has been much slower.

“So I’m proud to be leading Regeneration Brainery into its next chapter. I’m excited to be using a creative yet practical approach to addressing the industry’s diversity challenge, drawing on my personal experiences over the last two decades. Having been supported by some incredible organisations and individuals to date, we want more partners to join us so we can expand our reach throughout the UK to get even more young people fired up about shaping the future of their communities.”

Judi Greenwood leaves Regeneration Brainery to focus on her role as program lead for Future of Greater Manchester. Michele Steel added: “Having been Director of Strategy at Regeneration Brainery for the last 5 years, Judi has overseen a huge period of growth and leaves a fantastic legacy for us to build on. We wish Judi all the best with her next phase, developing the next cohort of GM leaders.”

It’s been a busy 2023 for Regeneration Brainery. Reaching more young, brilliant minds than ever, highlights have included taking over 70 brainees to UKREiiF, and taking to the stage at Property Week’s RESi360 conference.

The team has also struck up not-for-profit partnerships including being announced as the official charity partner for the UK’s Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) in Leeds next year.

As Chief Executive, Michele will build on the work that has seen almost a third of participants go on to take up employment in the industry or study industry specific subjects, with around 60% of ‘brainees’ from Ethnic Minority backgrounds.

To date, they’ve facilitated work experience placements and internships with partners Bruntwood, Lloyds Banking Group, Octopus Real Estate, Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects and many others as part of the broadening of their activities and have been supported by more than 13,000 volunteer hours from organisations and individuals across the property sector.

To find out how you can get involved with Regeneration Brainery, either as an individual or an organisation, visit: https://www.regenerationbrainery.co.uk/become-a-partner