The chief executive of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership has revealed the region received some excellent investment enquiries following the global property festival MIPIM in Cannes.
Philip Cox hailed the MIPIM (Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier) mission a huge success, helping to raise the region’s international profile and to begin the forging of new connections at home and abroad.
It was the first time that Cheshire and Warrington had exhibited at the flagship festival of the international property sector, with the LEP forming a partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council and Warrington Borough Council.
The festival was used to promote the Cheshire Science Corridor, investment opportunities in Warrington and Chester and to unveil The Constellation Partnership, which is aiming to take advantage of the huge investment in high speed rail in Cheshire and Staffordshire.
Mr Cox said: “Taking a stand at the festival allowed us to whet global investor interest with the initial concepts and opportunity presented by our region and within days of our return we and partners were picking up substantive enquiries from individuals and organisations wanting to know more.
“The mood at MIPIM was unreservedly positive and there was notable international interest in our region. We had fantastic support from our partners who were delighted to back the ambition.
“We went with defined propositions: championing the strengths of the Cheshire Science Corridor; master planning in Crewe; underling the scope of the ambition of The Constellation Partnership – the new name for the Northern Gateway Development Zone; and next year will see Cheshire and Warrington build on and further develop this year’s announcements.”
In the wake of Cheshire’s first meaningful international exposure Colliers International’s latest UK Hotels Market Index showed that Chester topped the rankings, further boosting regional confidence.
Mr Cox added: “It was timely in terms of momentum and it’s a reflection of what is happening here. There’s optimism and confidence about the future and this new research and the impact of MIPIM suggests we are cementing our position as a very real proposition, alongside the regional heavyweights of Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.”
Managing director of TEM Property Group, Henry Brooks, was one of the region’s private sector supporters who hosted and took part in promotional events in Cannes together with their client the Tatton Estate.
He said: “I was hugely impressed by the collaboration and feeling of unity exuded by the entire Northern contingent and I thought the Cheshire and Warrington LEP stand was a huge success and very well attended.
“As well as a great event for Cheshire, we as TEM and the Tatton Estate had an excellent response and are following up on new interest while looking how we can continue to help grow the Northern Powerhouse at next year’s event securing both public and private sector investment to create even greater places to live, work and visit.”
Partner at DTM Legal Sally Pilott, chair of Chester Growth Partnership’s infrastructure group, who attended MIPIM, echoed these sentiments: “This was the first time Cheshire has taken an exhibition stand at MIPIM and it provided an excellent focal point with the region making a real impact. The events were compelling and supported at the highest levels and the discussions generated were thought-provoking and will be on-going.
“There is more to come to ensure we sustain the upward trajectory to bringing new investment, opportunity and ultimately jobs, but the determination is definitely there.”
As well as Cheshire specific events at MIPIM, there were a series of events that business and council leaders from Cheshire and Staffordshire used to explain how The Constellation Partnership is set to transform the UK economy and the businesses and lives of the people in a region that connects north with south, east with west.
They included: HS2 Competitive Crewe; Developing Staffordshire; and The Hitman and Her: In Conversation with Pete Waterman and Jackie Sadek.
The delegation was supported by 17 private sector organisations, who were also promoting their schemes and seeking international partnerships: Addleshaw Goddard; Alderley Park; City Place, Chester; Fitfield Glyn; Glenbrook; Graham Construction; Grosvenor Estates; Mott McDonald; Northgate (Strutt and Parker); Patrizia; Pochin; Pozzoni Architects; Protos; Tattton Estate Management Property Group; Thornton Science Park; Vinci; Warrington and Co.