National speakers take stage with Greater Birmingham at MIPIM 2015

Region enlists high-profile speakers to discuss prominent projects during global real estate fair.

Influential representatives from national government, major developers and several UK locations gathered at Greater Birmingham’s stand during MIPIM, the international real estate show, to the discuss major investment opportunities connected to the region.

The Greater Birmingham stand staged 11 events where several major announcements were made to global investors, developers and property experts. This ranged from the launch of Birmingham Smithfield, a new £500 million family leisure destination, to the news that Liz Peace CBE will lead the regeneration around Birmingham’s HS2 Curzon station. Details were revealed about the major speculative schemes that will be introducing more Grade A office space to Birmingham – Three Snowhill and Paradise.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “There has been a real sense of momentum this week. The sheer amount of schemes that we’ve showcased is a clear illustration of the work that we’re doing to stretch ourselves as one of Europe’s most exciting investment prospects. Running events with Solihull, the Black County and Coventry, along with our strong private sector delegation, demonstrates how working in partnership can benefit our region.

“With the powerful line-up of speakers who have joined forces with Greater Birmingham this week, we’ve told a great story of delivery and ambition. I have every expectation that the projects we’ve presented during MIPIM will resonate further with global investors. Last year, MIPIM was a real success for the region – this year has been ever better.”

Delegates speaking on the Greater Birmingham stand included Sir Michael Bear, Chairman of UKTI Regeneration & Investment Organisation, who discussed the impact that high speed rail will have on the Greater Birmingham region during HS2: Linking Cities to Investment. The event also involved Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council; Nick Page, Chief Executive of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council; and Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council.

Sir Michael Bear explained: “HS2 will be absolutely transformational. It will be a chance to tie together a huge cluster of economic activity between Greater Birmingham and the capital, to ensure that the jobs and growth that it creates are balanced across the regions. Having listened to the Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry delegations speaking on the Greater Birmingham stand at MIPIM, I’m really optimistic and excited that each area is prepared for the unparalleled opportunity that HS2 presents.”

With its retail sector set to be boosted by the launch of Resorts World Birmingham and Grand Central shopping centre in 2015 – together with redevelopments to The Mailbox and Selfridges – Greater Birmingham also hosted the Future of Retail. The event involved Andy Street, Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP and Managing Director of the John Lewis Partnership; David Atkins, Chief Executive of Hammerson and Chair of The British Retail Consortium; and Waheed Nazir, Director of Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council. The speakers discussed topics including the competition between online retail and the high street – and future opportunities for retail and leisure expansion.

Atkins said: “Greater Birmingham’s shopping scene has got a very exciting future ahead of it. Retail is such a key part of everyday life. People want to see the biggest and best brands here and, with the developments taking place in the region this year, its residents can be proud of what will be on offer and even more visitors will be attracted to the heart of the UK.”

The scale of Greater Birmingham’s investment opportunities were outlined to 22,000 international delegates as the region brought together a record 33 public and private sector partners at MIPIM 2015.