March 7th, 2011, 01:55 PM
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Record numbers to back north west at MIPIM property fair
March 07, 2011
A record number of private companies will support Manchester’s attempts to strengthen its place on the global stage when the city showcases developments at the MIPIM property fair in the south of France this week.
A total of 49 firms will represent the city in Cannes, including developers and other property professionals, architects and lawyers, alongside council bigwigs and representatives of organisations including inward investment agency MIDAS. Only chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein and one other officer are being sent by the city council itself.
Chris Oglesby, chief executive of commercial property giant Bruntwood, said: "MIPIM brings together the key decision makers from the industry and provides an unrivalled opportunity to develop the relationships that are crucial to securing future business for the city."
Argent, The Co-operative Estates, Manchester Airport Developments, MediaCo and MIDAS are the key sponsors of Manchester at MIPIM Partnership and representatives from Arup, BDP, Bluemantle, Harrow Estates, Harvest Housing, Ian Simpson Architects, MBLA Architects & Urbanists and Stephenson Bell will also be present at the event, which starts tomorrow for four days.
The city needs to show it is still very much open for business and is ambitious for continued growth despite drastic cuts in public funding.
In a key MIPIM event, Manchester will line up alongside Amsterdam, Barcelona and Hamburg to discuss how Europe can continue to compete against the new powerhouses of China and India.
Mancunian Jim O’Neill, chairman of asset management at investment bank Goldman Sachs, will speak at the event and today he speculated that Manchester would have to be more creative when it comes to funding in the future.
He said: "There are some interesting ideas floating around and, if anywhere can make them happen, it will be Manchester.
"With the current leadership team, there is longevity and stability, which has managed to persist despite national changes, and that is important for planning and investment.
"Looking at more local financial solutions is consistent with this concept of the Big Society, the idea of giving more autonomy to the regions.
"I think Manchester has the bravery and the ambition to do something radical and I would be very eager to help them to do that."
Manchester will have a high profile presence with a stand at the front of the huge Palais building and a balcony emblazoned with a Manchester banner overlooking the Croisette.
Events are held on the stand twice a day spotlighting different schemes and spelling out Manchester’s strategy for continued growth with Sir Howard speaking every day.
On Tuesday he is expected to talk about the potential of localism and the changes being made by the Coalition under the title a Vision for Leadership.
On Wednesday morning Robin Phillips, finance director with Siemens will be talking about Manchester being a science powerhouse and in the afternoon speakers will look at how the city has redrawn urban regeneration.
Thursday sees Tom Bloxham, chairman of Urban Splash, and Alex Poots, director of Manchester International Festival, come to the stand to talk about the city’s cultural ambition.
The final event on Thursday afternoon will give more detail on the new Urban Quarter that is being planned around First Street. Ken Knott from Ask will explain how the new Library Theatre and Cornerhouse will sit with plans for more offices, retail and a new hotel.
Manchester’s presence at MIPIM is masterminded by a steering group led by Sir Howard that sets the schedule but it is delivered by Marketing Manchester whose team ties up private partners and organises the setting up and running of the stand and the three days of events.
With a budget of around £370,000 and the likelihood of little more coming from the city council, the yacht and swanky dinner have rightly gone but MIPIM is about having discussions you could not or would not have had back home.
» The stand events are at 10.45am and 15.45pm tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, see them live at manchesteratmipim.com