Post MIPIM blog

On Monday 13th March, I joined over 100 other businesses and local government representatives on a chartered flight from Leeds Bradford Airport to Nice; all of us headed for the international property conference MIPIM.  Leeds City Region took its largest ever delegation, with a real intent to promote the investment opportunities in the UK’s largest city region economy.  The Region’s attendance has grown significantly over the last few years. When the region flew out in 2015, Curtins was one of only eight private sector businesses within the delegation.  The fact that the number of businesses actively supporting the delegation has increased fourfold in just two years, clearly demonstrates the surge in business confidence in the region.  Indeed, the LEP teaming up with Jet2 and Leeds Bradford Airport to be able to offer direct flights from Leeds for the event, is likely to increase interest further in the coming years.

This was the first MIPIM since the massive political upheaval of last summer.  So, the global conference gave the industry an opportunity to come together and take stock after what has been a year of unprecedented political and socio-economic change.  There was a real will from representatives across all regions of the UK to assure the global investment community that the UK’s doors remain very much open. The message was loud and clear;  London’s global brand remains very strong, but the UK has many regions and cities where there is opportunity aplenty and the things that made the UK a great investment in the first place will continue long after the Brexit ship has sailed.  Indeed, there is a growing sense that Brexit will place a greater emphasis on these other regions across the UK and in particular, the Northern Powerhouse.

We were at MIPIM with a packed diary of events, meetings and stand presentations, all showcasing our regions.  The general mood was one of positivity, which was reflected in the good weather, unlike last year where downpours and the Budget had dampened spirits; Cannes was back to its sunny best.

The Friday flight back to Leeds Bradford may have been somewhat more subdued than the flight out on Monday after a long week; but the general feeling amongst delegates was one of optimism about the future of the Leeds City Regions investment and development market.