Tom Westley, Black Country LEP board member reflects on the successes of MIPIM and looks ahead to continuing driving forward the Black Country’s reputation as a first-class destination for investment.
Working as a core part of the Greater Birmingham team, the Black Country was an integral part of the planning and design of the programme for MIPIM 2016, which we believe was the best programme so far, building an excellent platform for the launch of the Midlands Engine next year.
MIPIM saw us launch a brand new Garden City Prospectus setting out a bold vision on how we will build 45,000 homes in the Black Country, and how we will use excellence in design to raise the quality of the environment for the area.
We announced that Westside in Wolverhampton is about to unveil its preferred developer, a significant step forward in the renaissance of the City. Ambitious future plans for Canalside, Southside and the Royal were also presented to an international audience bringing confidence to the property market that Wolverhampton is certainly ‘open for business’.
We launched ‘HVM City’ – an innovative interactive web based portal. HVM City allows the user to navigate investment opportunities, suppliers and procurement contract opportunities all in one place for the first time ever, and indeed the first tool of its kind nationally.
The Black Country teamed up with partners from across the West Midlands to launch the first ever Midlands Engine ‘pitchbook’ – an investment prospectus setting out 33 large investment projects for the market to invest in.
The Black Country took a multi billion pound investment portfolio to MIPIM – and the market liked it. Productive discussions were had with a significant number of potential investment partners on a range of topics including housing, commercial land, energy, hotels and leisure, supply chain development, student accommodation and masterplanning.
It is no wonder that the Black Country continues to retain its position as a compelling investment location – further reinforced by the Black Country being awarded 5th in Europe for Cost Effectiveness in the Financial Times European Cities and Regions of the Future awards.
We reignited old relationships and initiated brand new ones, all around the strength of our vision of becoming the High Value Manufacturing City of the UK and the ability of the delegation, working collaboratively, to sell one coherent investment message for the Black Country and the whole Greater Birmingham region.