MIPIM, a perfect showcase for region’s growth agenda

Published 26th January 2016 at 4:11pm

MIPIM Cannes, the world’s premier real estate event, is on the horizon. Exhibition builders, events management firms, brochure writers, video makers, carpet-layers and caterers are working in an ever increasing frenzy to have everything ready for the opening of this key week in the development world.

Among hundreds of exhibition stands will be the striking blue and white of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, with a team of both public and private sector leaders, representing how strongly they work together. Among events the region is hosting is an interactive debate, to be facilitated by the LEP Chairman Sir Nigel Knowles, on innovation, Northern specialisation, and urban renaissance.

Over four days, the Sheffield City Region will have an unrivalled opportunity to develop the relationships that are crucial to securing future business growth.

Martin McKervey, Partner at Nabarro, and Chair of the city region’s MIPIM Steering Group, said: “MIPIM is hugely important to Sheffield City Region’s growth agenda. We need to be making the case to global investors why Sheffield City Region is the right location for them to invest. MIPIM is the optimum forum for those conversations between the global investment community and our city region. We have a good track record in this regard, but we need to take it to a new level in 2016.”

The city region, which goes to MIPIM looking ahead to greater local powers under devolution, as a key partner in the Northern Powerhouse, and with a devolved skills and training budget, sees a huge range of key developments currently coming to fruition.

In the advanced manufacturing sector Factory 2050 embodies visionary collaboration between universities and industry. Factory 2050’s striking glass-walled building with its ability to speed up research and development through to prototyping, means that risk is reduced in the pre-production stages. This benefits a range of key manufacturing industries including robotics, automotive and aerospace.

Connectivity across the region by road, rail and air is being vastly improved with Transport for The North outlining plans to underpin multi-billion pound improvements and Flybe launching eight new routes, including two European hubs, from Doncaster Sheffield airport. The airport also has a strong cargo side and offers maintenance and repair for all size jets.

The £58million link road from the M18 to Doncaster Sheffield airport opens up the city region, and galvanises the development of the adjacent i-port (inland port) for major commercial and residential development. The 337 acres of i-port have a dedicated 35-acre rail freight terminal, a Customs clearance and bonded warehouse on site, and will provide 5,000 new homes.

Rail offers investors huge opportunities with HS2 and HS3 set to radically improve transport for both passengers and freight operators. The National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster, due to open in September 2017, will train thousands of new engineers needed to deliver rail contracts worth billions of pounds over the coming decades.

Meanwhile across the region there is an urban renaissance in town and city centres including:

  • Barnsley with an £85million redevelopment underway
  • Doncaster town centre with its recently developed £300million Civic and Cultural Quarter
  • Sheffield’s New Retail Quarter where £480million plans include a mix of residential and retail opportunities.

In parallel with the revitalisation of town centres, the great outdoors is emerging as a strength of the region’s economy. The beauty of the nearby Peak District draws walkers, climbers, cyclists, and those who just want to relax and revel in its beauty, from around the world. Underpinning this is a growing sector of world-leading businesses supplying outdoor clothing, equipment, accommodation and all the other services a visitor economy requires. Consumer spending on the outdoors in Sheffield alone is estimated to be a yearly £93million.

Last but not least, a growing interest in a healthy lifestyle in the region is reflected in the new Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, (AWRC) based at Sheffield’s Olympic Legacy Park. The AWRC will enable researchers to test innovations with local people using its world-class sports and exercise facilities, and allow members of the public to improve their health and wellbeing alongside elite athletes. Industry interest has been confirmed with the recent signing of a £1.5million deal with Toshiba which will see work on cutting-edge technologies from diagnostic imaging systems to wearable biosensors.

MIPIM gathers influential international property players from all sectors for four days at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, including

  • 21,400 participants from 89 countries
  • 2,445 exhibiting companies
  • 4,800 investors

Over the four days of the event those attending can learn about development projects worldwide, gain insight into the latest trends from industry experts, identify potential partners from the exhibitors, and make a wide range of new contacts. Often these will be people who are otherwise difficult to meet.

MIPIM offers innovative exhibitions, useful conferences, and intensive business meetings. There is also the opportunity to gain international exposure for projects, with several hundred journalists attending.

Jan 26th 2016