Business and council leaders from across the West Midlands have hailed the latest edition of global property expo MIPIM and described the boost the annual gathering will have on the region over the next 12 months.
MIPIM was staged earlier this month in Cannes, France, and saw hundreds of Midlands professionals attend to showcase their projects and network.
Nick Abell, vice chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said the hard work starts now following the trip.
He said: “The economic picture in Coventry and Warwickshire looks bright which was a message we were able to convey to potential investors at targeted events at MIPIM.
“Recent figures published by the National Office of Statistics revealed productivity in the CWLEP area went up by over 10 per cent during 2010 to 2017 – nearly four times the national average, which highlights a sustained period of growth.
“Coventry and Warwickshire is also the fastest growing LEP in England in terms of GVA per head and the success of our Coventry and Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership underlines the benefits of our partnership approach.
“We met a number of potential investors and the hard work now starts in arranging follow-up meetings and site visits to continue to attract inward investment to our area.”
Richard Mees, managing director of Warwickshire-based Rainier Developments, added: “Investment opportunities are available across the UK but it is important to be met with a can-do attitude from local authorities and our experience of Coventry City Council has been extremely positive.
“We attended MIPIM last year but this year decided to sign up to the Coventry and Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership since we are creating 200 residential apartments on the site of the iconic Elliott’s Car Accessories near the ring road.
“With work now underway, it made sense to join the Partnership to support the collective effort since as a united force we can only boost the regional economy.”
Monica Fogarty, chief executive of Warwickshire County Council, said: “MIPIM was a great way to introduce the Transforming Nuneaton programme to national developers, agents and architects and their feedback was invaluable.
“We are working with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council on this plan to regenerate Nuneaton and help the town realise its economic potential.
“The response from those who attended our event was clear – we need to have a stronger vision and to be bold whether that is in terms of the development we attract, the design of the buildings we want to create or in the use of those schemes.
“The nationally-based developers, agents and architects have also promised to visit and maintain a dialogue which would have been much more difficult to achieve without visiting MIPIM.”
Keir Edmonds, group managing director at MCS, added: “This was the first time we attended MIPIM but we decided to go because we wanted to raise our profile as part of our ambitious expansion plans.
“It proved to be a great decision – We’ve made contacts with developers, land owners and industry professionals from across the UK as well as building stronger relationships with those closest to home.
“I have built new contacts locally, which I am hopeful will be useful in the short and long-term and it was a great chance to find out just how much is going on in our region.
“It also made me realise how joined-up we are as a region and my overall impressions were positive – of the potential which still exists in the market and how hard our area is working to make the most of opportunities which come our way.”
Martin Yardley, Coventry City Council deputy chief executive and chief executive of CWLEP, said: “We were pleased with the response we received to invitations to attend our events at MIPIM and that is due to the ground work we have put in over the last few years to attract investment.
“The University of Warwick had a full house for their presentation on development of their assets and the Midlands UK Pavilion was very busy with Coventry and Warwickshire having representatives on a number of key industry panels as well as headlining events on Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021 and the regeneration opportunities available through sport since Coventry is the current European City of Sport.
“We have already arranged meetings with potential investors we met at MIPIM as we continue to show we have ambition, an awareness of what the market needs and the track record to make it a reality.”