Positive response to Black Country's MIPIM showcase
The Black Country delegation to the international MIPIM property conference has returned hailing 'very positive' market response to £6 billion of investment opportunities on offer across the area.
They were part of a major Midlands marketing campaign to attract investors and new business to the region from the world's leading real estate event.
Sarah Middleton, chief executive of the Black Country Consortium, said: “The Midlands UK Pavilion actively demonstrated that our region is collectively driving forward investment, together we showcased an outstanding mix of investment opportunities.
“The Black Country team used MIPIM as a platform to demonstrate our exciting economic future through highlighting the Black Country’s lucrative growth potential across our Black Country Garden City and our continually growing manufacturing economy.”
A Garden City programme to accelerate housebuilding across the Black Country has secured £100 million, part of £350m signed off for homes in the West Midlands by Chancellor Philip Hammond last week. It will expand the Black Country's Land and Property Fund to £250m.
Part of the housing deal would see a Black Country Brownfield Land Research Centre based in Wolverhampton.
Spearheaded by the Black Country's Local Enterprise Partnership the Garden City is set to be one of Britain’s biggest ever brownfield site regeneration programmes, including 700 homes at Bescot Friar Park and 800 homes at Grove Lane Intervention Area on the border of Sandwell and Birmingham.
At the same time the delegation was able to highlight a string of schemes aimed at 'supercharging' the Black Country's manufacturing economy.
With £65m to be spent on improving Junction 10 of the M6, Henry Boot Development has been chosen by Walsall Council as its partner to work on the nearby Phoenix 10 site, a £60m redevelopment to deliver 57,500sqm of new industrial floorspace.
Other Black Country schemes being promoted at MIPIM including:
* Interchange Commercial District and Canalside Living Quarter – A scheme offering investment opportunities for residential, leisure and commercial developments in Wolverhampton
* i54 Western Extension – An extension of the existing business park by up to 100 acres to help continue the expansion of the growing cluster of advanced manufacturing businesses including Jaguar Land Rover and Moog Aerospace.
* DY5 Business and Innovation Enterprise Zone – Brierley Hill
The Black Country is also set to benefit from the new Aquatics Centre to be built in Sandwell for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games as well as from the Business Expo that will run alongside the sporting event.
The Black Country schemes were part of a £10bn West Midlands Investment Prospectus that showcased projects across the region.
Other key announcements at MIPIM included the unveiling of new images for the City of Wolverhampton’s Interchange Commercial District vision. Wolverhampton council's deputy managing director, Tim Johnson, said: “Our vision for the City of Wolverhampton Interchange is fast becoming a reality – and is supported by £3.7 billion of investment on site or in the pipeline across the city.
“It is important that we build on that momentum and at MIPIM we attracted a great deal of interest from major investors and developers, who were impressed by what we have to offer.
“This was further strengthened by being part of the Midlands UK delegation and can help us fulfil the potential of our ambitious plans for a Wolverhampton Interchange Commercial District offering one million sq ft of grade A office space and city living opportunities.”
The size of the Midlands UK delegation increased significantly in the run up to MIPIM, with 68 commercial partners – including the region’s property community, major businesses, airports, science and tech parks, and local universities – working with 12 public sector partners to promote the region.
Adrian Bland, head of commercial real estate at law firm Shakespeare Martineau, said: “The mood in the Midlands pavilion was buoyant. Whilst many regional cities are ambitious and have actual or planned projects to shout about, nowhere can match the vibrancy surrounding the Midlands.”
Alex Smith, the law firm's head of construction and engineering, added: “The messages given by the UK Midlands contingent are clear. There are many opportunities to invest across the Midlands on a number of residential, commercial or mixed-use developments. Notwithstanding the uncertainties of Brexit with the value of sterling favouring international investors, there are very good reasons to invest in the UK and the Midlands in particular."
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, added: “There was a real feeling at MIPIM that our region is on the up.
“It also saw the West Midlands working together in showing the world how we are the UK’s new growth capital and its most liveable, investable and competitive region.
“The launch of our £10 billion Investment Prospectus was significant and proved effective in demonstrating to potential investors and developers the sheer breadth of opportunities on offer.
“But it also underlined our determination to make sure that this growth benefits everyone and that the investment set out in the Prospectus tackles the things that really matter to people like good homes, jobs and access to skills and learning.”
Beyond Cannes, the @UKMidlands Twitter account has reached 300,000 users throughout the event, while the Midlands UK MIPIM website received nearly 15,000 page views since mid-February.