Nearly 3,000 international delegates visited the Midlands UK pavilion during global real estate show MIPIM 2017 (Cannes, France, 14-17 March) to learn about opportunities to invest in areas across the region.
The Greater Birmingham delegation, which attended MIPIM as part of Midlands UK, comprises Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country. Representatives from Greater Birmingham took part in more than 20 events within the Midlands programme, including panel debates and showcase presentations featuring approximately 50 speakers.
Based at a pavilion for the first time, the wider Midlands UK delegation featured more than 40 organisations from the private sector, working in collaboration with the public sector to promote the region. The companies ranged from property agents to developers, consultancies and architects.
Investment opportunities around Greater Birmingham’s growing transport infrastructure were a draw for MIPIM delegates. An event looking at the potential of Birmingham Curzon’s HS2 station on Wednesday afternoon was full, along with a panel discussion focused on how HS2 will impact the economic performance of the area.
Other popular events for Greater Birmingham included presentations about major schemes that are expected to make a huge economic impact on the local economy.
Two major developments in Birmingham have taken a step forward after being showcased at MIPIM. A Visioning Document for the £350 million Peddimore industrial site launched at the show, while it was also announced that Stoford Developments has been appointed to deliver the £200 million redevelopment of a key property portfolio around Typhoo Wharf in Birmingham city centre.
Cllr John Clancy, Leader, Birmingham City Council, commented: “The Midlands Engine’s presence at MIPIM sends a powerful message to global investors that the region is a strong, cohesive area, which is committed to becoming more connected, productive and innovative. By joining together with other destinations to promote Birmingham, Greater Birmingham and the Midlands Engine, we are competing even more strongly than ever before to secure investment that will help to create new jobs, homes and economic wealth for local people.”
A Growth and Infrastructure Plan for the UK Central Hub at Solihull also launched at MIPIM, which presented 775,000 sqm of development land and space for up to 4,000 homes to potential investors. The Solihull Town Centre Masterplan outlines the potential for up to 1,400 new homes, over 70,000 sqm of new office space and 11,000 sqm of commercial and leisure space.
Cllr Ian Courts, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Managed Growth at Solihull Council, said: “We have enjoyed taking part in a number of very busy events at MIPIM this year, with attendance boosted by Solihull and Greater Birmingham’s presence at the Midlands Engine Pavilion. Now that Royal Assent has been granted to HS2, investors can see that our plans for major schemes like The Hub will soon become a reality – and their interest in UK Central and Solihull is growing as a result.”
A range of City of Wolverhampton opportunities were also on show at MIPIM. Its ambitious £132 million Interchange scheme will introduce a new railway station to support its modern bus station, while the i9 site was showcased as a potential regional headquarters for a global company. Further progress on the Black Country Garden City project was outlined, which will be one of the UK’s largest ever brownfield site regeneration programmes and aims to lever £6 billion of investment.
Tom Westley, Black Country LEP lead for the Enterprise Zone, added: “Major developments such as i9 and the Wolverhampton Interchange were extremely well received at MIPIM this year, having certainly caught the attention of delegates. This year has again been highly successful for Greater Birmingham, particularly as we are able to capitalise on the growing strength and profile of the Midlands Engine to attract investment into the Black Country.”
Other well-attended events included an evening reception featuring British screenwriter Steven Knight, filled with delegates wearing caps from the TV show Peaky Blinders, which is set in Birmingham.
Midlands UK has also made a significant impact beyond Cannes. The @UKMidlands Twitter account doubled its followers during MIPIM, and reached more than 120,000 users throughout the event, while the #MidlandsUK hashtag has been used over 100,000 times. Nearly 150 regional, national and international media articles about the Midlands UK delegation have been published to date.
Sir John Peace in the Midlands UK Pavilion.