Greater Birmingham’s presence at global real estate show MIPIM (15-18 March, Cannes) has been hailed a success by regional stakeholders, with landmark announcements and the biggest-ever events programme attracting more than 700 delegates, a 101% increase on 2015.
The region hosted 20 events across three days, including several key launches and announcements catching the attention of the international investment community. These ranged from the news that M&G Real Estate will fund the construction of Ballymore’s Three Snowhill, a 420,000 sq ft office development in Birmingham city centre. The circa £200 million scheme will be the largest ever speculative city centre office scheme built outside London.
To the unveiling of the Midlands Engine Pitchbook – showcasing 33 investment opportunities worth a combined £14.4 billion – and the news that PwC will be the first business to move into the £500 million Paradise Birmingham development - part of the UK’s biggest Enterprise Zone.
Hundreds of delegates from around the world gathered as details were also revealed of the £500 million Birmingham Smithfield project, which will create a unique global attraction for people to meet, live and shop. Audiences at MIPIM 2016 were also amongst the first to see plans for Arden Cross, a landmark development site identified as the location for the High Speed Rail Interchange Station.
Wolverhampton was also in the spotlight as a city of change, with £3.7 billion city-wide investment either underway or in the pipeline. On show were major development opportunities in the city centre, such as Southside, Canalside and the former Royal Hospital site.
Cllr John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
"It’s been a historic week, which will have a positive impact on people’s lives in Greater Birmingham in terms of jobs, housing and economic growth.
"From announcements about Birmingham Smithfield and Paradise to the buzz around HS2 and HSBC, this year’s MIPIM has clearly demonstrated that things are happening in this region – and that this is the place where people need to invest.”
Among the hundreds of meetings hosted by Greater Birmingham, the delegation welcomed Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of Housing and Planning, and Mayor of Frankfurt Peter Feldmann.
Cllr Bob Sleigh, Leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, added:
"It’s been noticeable just how much progress has been made in Greater Birmingham during the last 12 months. Throughout the event, the region has provided genuine investment opportunities for people visiting our stand.
"MIPIM 2016 has given us a chance to further highlight the UK Central developments in Solihull, presenting delegates with a clear vision around the investable propositions across the borough. It’s also been important this week to draw attention to the new West Midlands Combined Authority – showing that we’re now not just a single entity, but have regional momentum with real substance.”
Greater Birmingham’s delegation at MIPIM 2016 included more partners than ever before, with a record 42 public and private sector firms working in collaboration to showcase the region globally.
Ian Simpson, Land and New Business Director at Countryside Properties, said:
"MIPIM 2016 has been our first opportunity to partner with Greater Birmingham. As a new investor to the area, we’ve found it an invaluable experience to build relationships and networks.
"It has been exciting to see how the themes displayed on the region’s stand this week – particularly during the Black Country’s garden city presentation – have aligned closely with our own ambitions to not just build quality housing across Greater Birmingham, but to create sustainable new communities.”
Mark Lee, Chief Executive of Calthorpe Estates, added:
"There’s been a tremendous sense of positivity around the Greater Birmingham stand, with many investors interested in what we’ve had to say and keen to get down to business.
"At this year’s MIPIM, Calthorpe Estates has worked hard to actively promote the region’s life sciences credentials, so it was impressive to see a real interest during our panel event from delegates keen to find out how they can benefit from our world-class offer in this sector.”
Tom Westley, Black Country LEP lead for the Enterprise Zone said:
"It has been a great week for the Black Country as we showcased to the world the first-class investment opportunities available here in the Black Country.
"MIPIM gave us a platform in which to launch a mix of development opportunities across our successful Enterprise Zones; all linked to our vision of becoming the High Value Manufacturing City of the UK. As well as making new industry contacts, we transformed perceptions on a global scale demonstrating that the Black Country is very much open for business”.
Business Birmingham’s dedicated hashtag #MIPIMbrum this year reached more than 2.9 million Twitter users, an increase of nearly 300% compared with 2015 figures. #MIPIMbrum has so far been retweeted nearly 600 times, a rise of more than 140% compared to last year’s event.