Greater Birmingham – Today, Tomorrow and Beyond

Midlands regions join forces to promote flagship projects at MIPIM 2016.

Greater Birmingham has today unveiled its largest-ever events programme, showcasing the region’s leading investment offer at global real estate show MIPIM (15th-18th March, Cannes).

Comprising 20 events and 32 speakers, the three-day programme is designed to highlight the investment, development and occupier opportunities available across Greater Birmingham. Flagship schemes will feature alongside exclusive project launches, all under the region’s 2016 event themes of Today, Tomorrow and Beyond. The programme will explore current projects taking place, as well as long-term strategies for the region, ranging from skills development to the future of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

With a particular focus on collaboration, Greater Birmingham and surrounding regions will work in close partnership across its events schedule, which this year includes The launch of Birmingham’s Smithfield Masterplan. One of the country’s largest city centre development opportunities covering 14 hectares, the scheme is worth a combined £1 billion. Located within the city centre Enterprise Zone, Birmingham Smithfield will present investors with the opportunity to be part of a transformational mixed-use development at the heart of Birmingham.

Cllr John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, commented: “Our biggest events programme to date at this year’s MIPIM will ensure Greater Birmingham once again catches the attention of the global investment community. With development sites across the region to showcase, ranging from landmark high-speed rail stations at Birmingham Curzon and UK Central to the Black Country’s successful Enterprise Zone, Greater Birmingham will promote capital investment opportunities for the property market’s most important decision makers.

“Central to this year’s programme is the strong collaboration between the private and public sectors, and across local authority and local enterprise partnerships throughout Greater Birmingham. By continuing to work together, we can deliver the jobs and growth that are vital to the economic development of the region, and overall growth prospects of the UK.”

Greater Birmingham’s MIPIM 2016 programme also includes The launch of the Black Country’s High Value Manufacturing City digital asset. The development programme is designed to support the advancement of the leading design, manufacturing and engineering opportunities available in the Black Country. HVM City will add over £1 billon to the economy, bring forward over 150 hectares of land for advanced manufacturing and create over 25,000 jobs. The launch event will be led by Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership board member, Tom Westley, and will form one of many key investment opportunities showcasing the Black Country area.

Following unprecedented levels of investment within the region’s retail sector, the Greater Birmingham stand will host The future of retail. The event will investigate how the region’s evolving retail sector will impact its economic and property landscape over the coming years. It will feature a panel debate with national industry experts including Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis and Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP; Steve Yewman, Development Director at Westfield; and Robin Dobson, Director of Retail Development at Hammersons.

Andy Street added: “With over £1 billion of investment in the region in the last year, Greater Birmingham is experiencing record levels of growth. Globally significant companies like HSBC and Jaguar Land Rover are locating or expanding in the area, demonstrating their confidence in the future of the local economy.

“MIPIM is the ideal platform to showcase everything the region has to offer and promote the potential for further growth; reinforcing Greater Birmingham’s place on the world stage for investment.”

Throughout Greater Birmingham’s event programme, delegates will learn of the vast opportunities available, as the region’s private sector development partners take to the stand. Speakers contributing include Mark Lee, Chief Executive at Calthorpe Estates; Glenn Howells of Glenn Howells Architects and Jonathan Wallis, Development Director at Arena Central.

Stephen Hollowood, Senior Director at Bilfinger GVA, who will be attending MIPIM as part of Greater Birmingham’s delegation, added: “As one of the UK’s leading property advisors operating in both the public and private sectors, Bilfinger GVA’s international focus is becoming increasingly important. In recent years, MIPIM has raised our profile across the UK and key global markets, providing us with critical access to international investors, potential partners and clients. Attending the event as part of the Greater Birmingham delegation means we are part of a strong, unified regional presence, making it easy to showcase our opportunities on the international stage.”

MIPIM 2016 is set to welcome 21,400 international delegates from 89 countries – including 3,560 investors, architects, planners and developers, and more than 360 journalists.