Best Ever MIPIM: that was the message from Cannes this year. Whoever I spoke to, whether they were Midlanders, Londoners or even property people from overseas, 2017’s MIPIM has been hailed as the best yet. And why? Because despite our reservations that Brexit may be top of people’s agendas, it wasn’t. While we felt that perhaps our European partner and investors may steer clear, they didn’t. Brexit wasn’t exactly the ‘elephant in the room,’ because it was talked about but it didn’t appear to be seen as an obstruction to growth.
At panel events in the Midlands Pavilion (I spoke an event myself on housing), and also at global event seminars, the message was loud and clear: Brexit may present problems for London, but it will be the regions which will benefit. Counties like Lincolnshire could see the investment and development coming our way.
In terms of Team Lincolnshire, it was another ‘best ever’ with more private sponsors and support than ever before. We had the best attended Greater Lincolnshire brunch on Wednesday – with fantastic interest from our Midlands partners and business contacts from beyond.
The Midlands is very much on the radar, and the East Midlands in particular – as a great place to live, work and play.
It was my 19th MIPIM this year and the first where we took our own Pygott & Crone branded car to Cannes to help showcase not only our business, but the Lincolnshire effort. I can honestly say, it was brilliant marketing and fun to see our car whizzing along La Croisette!
Cannes’ palm-lined, sun-drenched boulevards with Lamborghinis at one end and Louis Vouitton at the other may not sound like the place to raise the profile of Lincoln and Lincolnshire. But Cannes is where connections are made, business is won and the following 12 months means following up those business leads.
A Midlands-wide delegation – featuring Team Lincolnshire among the ten Local Enterprise Partnership areas and 49 private and public sector partners – exhibited for the very first time this year in the new Midlands Pavilion.
Working collaboratively in a dedicated pavilion, the Midlands Engine delegation was the largest of its kind to represent the UK at this year’s event. The region showcased more than £14billion worth of projects and investment sites to the annual exhibition’s 23,000 attendees – from potential investors and developers to property agents and the media. Themes ranged from the opportunities surrounding the Midlands’ connectivity offer – including the new High Speed 2 rail network – to the region’s Enterprise Zones, housing and commercial schemes.