Commercial partners and civic leaders hail Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire MIPIM success

Midlands UK Pavilion

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire delegation has had its busiest ever year at international property show MIPIM The four-day event saw 70 one-to-one meetings with developers and investors, plus a series of special briefing events and seminars promoting investment opportunities in the area on a global stage.

MIPIM, which takes place in Cannes each year, is the largest gathering of senior leaders from all international property sectors, offering unrivalled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide. The 2018 event attracted more than 26,000 delegates from more than 100 countries.

Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership joined forces with the nine other LEP areas and other partners across the Midlands Engine region within a Midlands UK pavilion at MIPIM, following a successful pilot at MIPIM 2017. The Midlands UK Pavilion welcomed more than 4,700 visitors, a 57per cent increase on 2017. More than 50 events were hosted by Midlands UK, including panel discussions and showcase presentations, featuring almost 100 speakers from both the public and private sectors.

A total of 68 commercial partners, including the region’s property community, major businesses, airports, science and tech parks, and local universities were involved in Midlands events. Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s commercial partners and sponsors included Stoford Developments, Wardell Armstrong, Siemens, Gleeds, Nordic Heat, Staffordshire University, Faithful and Gould, VXFIBER, Network Space, Knights 1759, Solarplicity, A&J Mucklow, Harworth Group and CWC Group.

In addition, the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire team held more than 70 one-to-one meetings with commercial and residential developers, property investors, and decision-makers within government.

Siemens project development director Tim Lowe commented: “I was delighted to be able to participate alongside the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire delegation at MIPIM.  We’ve been very impressed by their ambition, collaborative spirit, and willingness to embrace new technology. This is already leading to some exciting developments in the energy sector in Stoke-on-Trent, and we are working hard to develop further projects in addition to the landmark schemes that are already under way.”

Stoford Developments director Tony Nash commented: “We certainly got great benefit from promoting our development experience in Staffordshire to a wider property market and also sharing investment ideas with both the public and private sector.

“Opportunities for investing in both Staffordshire and Stoke were brought to the fore of our investment plans and without the private-public communication offered by MIPIM we certainly would not have as clear an understanding of the opportunities in Staffordshire.”

CWC Group director Marc Freeman said: “It has been an excellent MIPIM this year, extremely well supported across the board. The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire presence was as strong as ever, with an ever-growing realisation of investment and development which we are proud to sponsor and be a part of in the Ceramic Valley with our land ownerships and developments over the last 12 months.”

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost CBE said: “This was the most successful MIPIM yet for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. We reaped the benefits of joining forces with the rest of the Midlands region in a Midlands UK pavilion, which raised our profile and led to a dramatic increase in the number of visitors. We were able to achieve a much bigger impact while still retaining our own distinctive identity, and promoted our area with a range of successful and very well attended events.

“It is very important that we keep a continuing flow of new investment into Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and promote growth opportunities to a national and global audience, so that we can create more and better jobs for local people.

“Our central location makes this a great place to live, work, invest and do business, and we made a very impressive case to international investors.”

Stafford Borough Council leader Councillor Patrick Farrington said: “So many comments were made about how ideally placed the borough was geographically, and our excellent accessibility, that Stafford was described by one investor as a ‘hidden gem’. Following our presentations at MIPIM we are no longer hidden!

“The importance of securing commercial investment to create employment opportunities and to enhance the residential development offer to those who are looking to buy or rent in our borough cannot be overstated. The event has proved successful for our community in the past, with the investment by Jaguar Land Rover in Stone coming on the back of a previous visit.”

Councillor Abi Brown, Stoke-on-Trent City Council deputy leader, said: “We were able to showcase the excellent opportunities that our city has to offer to hundreds of developers, investors, partners, influencers and government decision makers. MIPIM is a unique opportunity to do this, to shout about Stoke-on-Trent on a global scale.

“We have prime development-ready sites for investors, backed-up by a team who provide tailor-made solutions to smooth the process for businesses to locate here. We have first-class connectivity across the country and some of the cheapest land and set-up costs in the UK. We showed delegates our ambition and confidence in the city with a serious of bold development opportunities, supported by a wide range of public and private sector partners. We have had several strong enquiries already, less than a week on, and will look forward to these being progressed.”

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “This year’s MIPIM has been a resounding success. The feedback from delegates has been really encouraging and our LEP contingent presented a strong case for investing in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

“Personally I was pleased to launch the Wolverhampton-Staffordshire High Growth Zone which is fast becoming a leading national business hub with transport connections that will be second to none. This was in addition to the Stafford Gateway project – transforming the county town’s economy through employment, housing and leisure development with improved connections through HS2.

“MIPIM has again provided us with an unrivalled opportunity to showcase Staffordshire to global investors and show that we are key drivers in the Midlands Engine. Together we have been able to demonstrate how the region is the economic powerhouse of the UK and that our county is playing a major part in boosting productivity in the Midlands.”

The MIPIM events the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire team were involved with included:

  • The M54 Wolverhampton – Staffordshire High Growth Zone Launch hosted by Councillor Mark Winnington (Staffordshire County Council) and Tim Johnson (Wolverhampton City Council). The Growth Zone has the potential to deliver more than 11m sq ft of floor space and 20,000 jobs over 15 sites, including i54, Wobaston Park, Wolverhampton Business Park, ROF Featherstone, Mercury Park and Vernon Park, and Four Ashes Park.
  • Midlands Showcase presentation on Stafford Gateway and the New Garden Settlement hosted by Councillor Patrick Farrington (leader, Stafford Borough Council) and Councillor Winnington. This provided an update on progress, including the project’s inclusion in the Midlands Engine Investment Portfolio.
  • Midlands Panel Session on ‘Using innovative thinking to unlock investment and accelerate development plans’. Councillor Abi Brown (deputy leader, Stoke-on-Trent City Council) participated in the panel alongside Nick Taylor (KPMG), Deborah Cadman (WMCA), Martin Reeves (Coventry City Council) and Anthony McCourt (Court Collaboration).
  • Midlands Showcase presentation on the Stoke-on-Trent Station Masterplan, University Quarter and Spode Works hosted by Councillor Brown. This included an announcement on potential options for the redevelopment of the Swift House site.
  • Midlands Panel Session on ‘How can the Midlands create the quantity and quality of homes needed?’ David Frost, Chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP participated in the panel alongside Tom Purnell (Leicestershire County Council), Tim Downing (Pygott & Crone), Owen Michaelson (Harworth Group), Stephen Pratt (Godwin Developments) & Tom Shaw (Ramboll).
  • Midlands Panel Session on Stoke-on-Trent and Energy Securitisation hosted by David Frost. The panel included Councillor Abi Brown, Richard Watts (VXFiber), Peter Anderberg (Nordic Heat), Tim Day (Solarplicity) and Tim Lowe (Siemens). Each gave presentations on their work supporting the City Council’s plans to become a smart and sustainable city.

There were four events in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire apartment focusing on Stafford Gateway/New Garden Settlement, the Stoke-on-Trent Station Masterplan and Stoke-on-Trent Smart Sustainable City, plus an opening reception on Monday evening which welcomed over 100 delegates.

  • Tuesday evening – ‘Delivering a new County Town Through HS2; Stafford Gateway and Stafford New Garden Settlement’. This included presentations by Councillor Patrick Farrington and Duncan Sutherland (HS2).
  • Wednesday morning – ‘Stoke-on-Trent Station Masterplan, University Quarter & Spode Works’. This included presentations by Councillor Abi Brown, Professor Martin Jones (Staffordshire University) and Duncan Sutherland (HS2).
  • Wednesday evening – ‘Building a Smart Sustainable City for Stoke-on-Trent’. This included presentations by Tim Lowe (Siemens), Tim Day (Solarplicity), Peter Anderberg (Nordic Heat) and Richard Watts (VXFIBER).

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP dinner was attended by a full house of 30 people from a range of sponsors, public sector partners, developers and professional service providers. These included Wardell Armstrong, Gleeds, Network Space, Stoford Developments, Knights LLP, Faithful and Gould, Solarplicity, VX Fiber, HS2 Growth Partnership, Staffordshire University, Harworth Estates, Siemens, Hilton Hotels, Nordic Heat, Öresundskraft and the Midlands Engine. The discussion during the dinner was chaired by David Frost with significant contributions from Councillors Farrington, Winnington and Brown.

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