Leeds City Region at MIPIM: Many Facets of One Diamond

Yesterday morning I attended the Leeds City Region Delegation Briefing for MIPIM. The region is taking its largest ever delegation over to Cannes and over 30 of us joined Roger Marsh, the leader of the LEP, to share our aspirations for the week.

There was a real sense in the room that the region is becoming a major player in the Northern Powerhouse; and doing so whilst maintaining its regional identity. I returned from MIPIM last year and reflected that the Leeds City Region branding could do more to promote everything Yorkshire has to offer; particularly on the back of the success of the Grand Depart.  This year, the branding of the Leeds City Region stand will do just that. The new-look stand adopts elements of the Grand Depart identity and also showcases a variety of regional produce; and even some of the imagery used within the meeting spaces gives a real sense that a little slice of Yorkshire has been temporarily relocated to the South of France.

And there is also a realisation of the unique offer that the Leeds City Region provides; the leisure and retail opportunities in York and Harrogate; the manufacturing and industrial opportunities in Kirklees and Wakefield; and the commercial and residential opportunities in Leeds and Bradford. As Roger Marsh summed it up this morning, “the region is many facets of one diamond”.

Whilst the delegation is the largest that Leeds City Region has ever taken to MIPIM, it’s clear that there are also a large number of others attending from the region, independently of the official delegation. Yorkshire is probably the UK’s best supported region, behind Manchester and London.  All of us buoyed by the number of investment and development opportunities the region has to offer.  And the projects being profiled are hard evidence of this; Caddick’s City One Development, CEG’s Kirkstall Forge Development, Scarborough’s Thorpe Park Development and MEPC’s Wellington Place Development; together with the developments at Leeds South Bank, the Enterprise Zone, Barnsley Town Centre and York Central, to name but a few.

So we head out to MIPIM with a sense of real optimism; a sense that the region is at the start of something exciting; a sense that momentum is gathering…