MIPIM 2023 Day Two Round-Up Wednesday 15 March

After a successful first day at MIPIM 2023, the action certainly didn’t slow down on the Manchester stand for day two. Wednesday 15 March provided an opportunity to discuss innovation, sustainability and future place-making with lots of insightful talks from the Manchester delegation both on our stand and across the wider festival.

To start the day, Becca Heron Strategic Director of Growth and Development for Manchester City Council joined Arup for a breakfast panel at The Mondrian Hotel named "The status quo is not enough anymore. There is a better way. Can retrofit be the Hero?"

Over on the Estates Gazette Stand, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority Eamonn Boylan and Caroline Simpson Chief Executive of Stockport Council joined a session hosted by Homes England called "Leveraging a multi-stakeholder approach to create high-quality places".

The panel discussed a vision for successfully transforming UK towns and cities through public/private sector collaboration to achieve impactful results for communities. Other speakers included Abi Brown, councillor, Stoke on Trent City Council, Peter Denton, chief executive, Homes England and chair Samantha McClary, editor, of Estates Gazette.

Eamonn Boylan Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority said, “Levelling up for me isn’t about creating jobs it's about enabling people to access opportunity.

There’s an important role for the public sector to create the conditions for investment to enable it to fly. “Is devolution the magic bullet, no it’s not but it is a really important part of the toolkit for us.”

Caroline Simpson, Chief Executive of Stockport Council said, “Having the ability to generate that momentum and the vision and then get a technical structure out of the ground with such complexity starts with ambition and confidence that it can be done. There is a range of investable propositions right now in Stockport. We have a vision and we believe we can make a very clear investable proposition for the people of Stockport.“

Estates Gazette

Following this, also on the Estates Gazette Stand, Eamonn Boylan joined the 'Invest City Focus' which uncovered how cities like Manchester can be engines for growth and highlighted the reasons why Manchester is a great city for investors.

Eamonn Boylan Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority discussed key growth locations for Manchester as well as the Innovation Greater Manchester initiative, what levelling up could mean for the region and the role of transport and universities in the growth of cities.

He said, “We are increasingly gaining profile to be recognised internationally and that’s where we'll continue to push. Unglamorous things like buses are really important to us to make sure we’re exploiting our existing infrastructure and can use it to enable sustainable growth.”

Invest City Focus

Then, to kick off the action on the Manchester stand Gary Neville, Owner of Relentless joined an ‘in-conversation with’ session with Mike Emmerich explaining why MIPIM is important for Manchester and his vision for the future of the city.

Gary Neville said, “I am here to support the city as everything I have achieved was in Manchester. I am passionate about the place where I live and MIPIM is a worthwhile event to attend that does a lot for a city.

“We need to make Manchester city centre more family-friendly, it needs good quality housing, but it also needs amazing green spaces for families.”

View the video here.

Next on the Manchester stand was, 'Smart Growth Through Innovation: Innovation Greater Manchester Rochdale Salford and Stockport Growth Locations' discussing the developments and projects that will help create Greater Manchester’s ecosystem.

Paul Ormerod Chair of Rochdale Development Agency and Atom Valley Mayoral Development Zone joined Tom Stannard Chief Executive Salford City Council, Caroline Simpson Chief Executive, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, Mike Palin Executive Director, Homes England and moderator Richard Jones, Northern Cities Executive Arcadis.

Paul Ormerod, Chair of Rochdale Development Agency said, “Greater Manchester has got a profound borough divide. Atom Valley is a crucial part of bridging that gap. Atom Valley will address the social mobility and inequality which we face today.”

Tom Stannard, Chief Executive of Salford Council said, “The longevity and durability of partnerships in Salford are important. They will provide conditions for growth and innovation.”

View the video here

Smart Growth

Then, over on the Infrastructure Stage, Eamonn Boylan and Becca Heron joined "Transport: Bridging the E, the S, and the G with mobility" to discuss the role of transport in regenerating cities.

Joining the panel alongside them was Steve Rotheram Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region and Roland Karthaus Programme Lead, Infrastructure the Design Council.

Eamonn Boylan Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority said, “We are planning our infrastructure developments for the long term. Trying to think about the place as it emerges, grows and changes and thinking about transport as an integral part of that.

“People need to have the ability to compete in the jobs market and they need to be able to get to where the jobs are, it’s as simple as that”

Becca Heron Strategic Director of Growth and Development for Manchester City Council said, We’re trying to encourage people to use sustainable modes of transport where possible but it’s difficult to do it at scale. It comes down to the fundamental point that without a quality, affordable alternative people will continue to use private cars.”


Over on the Manchester Stand next was ‘Concretene: A Manchester Innovation to Lower Global Construction Carbon Emissions' discussing the low-carbon, graphene-enhanced concrete, created in Manchester that could revolutionise the future of construction.

Moderated by Jane Healey Brown Director of Arup, this session brought together Alex McDermott - Co-Founder and Mike Harrison Chief Operating Officer of Concretene, Angela Crowther Associate Director of Arup and Jessica Bowles Director of Strategy at Bruntwood.

Paul Dennett, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester and City Mayor of Salford also gave an address about the importance of Concretene to our city region.

He said, “Concretene gives us the possibility of revolutionising and transforming the building industry and will help us to get on the road to net zero.”

Alex McDermott Co-Founder of Concretene said, “We could not have created Concretene anywhere else but in Manchester, the city and the institutions gave us the confidence to start the project.”

View the video here.

 Kicking off Wednesday afternoon on the Manchester stand, Stockport and Wigan Councils showcased their vision for Net Zero Town Centres. Alison McKenzie-Folan Chief Executive of Wigan Council and Aidan Thatcher Executive Director of Growth and Economy at Wigan Council joined Warren Taylor Director of City Heart, Caroline Simpson Chief Executive of Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and Paul Richards Chief Executive Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation.

The session moderated by Simon Bedford, partner at Deloitte covered the major re-development projects in Stockport and Wigan including The Galleries, Wigan Town Centre regeneration, improved transport links in Leigh, Stockport’s new transport interchange and plans for a new hospital in Salford.

At the panel, Aidan Thatcher, Executive Director of Growth and Economy at Wigan Council revealed exclusive plans for a new small-medium business park in Wigan.

View the video here.

Then, Ian Simpson Co-Founding Partner of SimpsonHaugh, James Heather Development Director at Trilogy and Becca Heron Strategic Director of Growth and Development at Manchester City Council joined Jessica Middleton-Pugh, Residential and Retail Editor at React News for a session called “Manchester Urban Evolution: The Compact, Walkable City”.

The session outlined how Manchester could set the blueprint for a sustainable, walkable city with dense, high buildings like those around Deansgate Square, Great Jackson Street and First Street developments.

In an opening presentation, Ian Simpson Co-Founding Partner of SimpsonHaugh said, “I believe quite strongly that cities need people to drive demand, to drive function and be creative. So, to be successful we felt we needed to test dense buildings for not only living in the city centre but to create city centre neighbourhoods.”

In the panel session, Becca Heron Strategic Director of Growth and Development for Manchester City Council said, “The city centre will continue to expand out, but I also recognise as the population within the city centre has grown the need for social infrastructure has grown too. We’ve gone from a couple of hundred people to 60,000 people in about 10 years and we absolutely need to plan for the social infrastructure of the future.

“If you build good quality, high-density homes and great shared public amenities, you can create a response to the kind of demand that Manchester is now seeing.”

Discussing development at The Great Northern Warehouse, James Heather Development Director of Trilogy Property said, “We need to look at the asset. Why wouldn’t we want to develop something like Great Northern Warehouse? It’s a beautiful building and a great piece of architecture. It’s a great space that lends itself to redevelopment. The joy of cities and the reason why people want to live in cities is the contrast between characterful buildings and new builds. People want to feel comfortable in a city that has character and has a history.”

View the video here.

In a last-minute addition to the programme, leaders from Greater Manchester gave a response to today’s budget announcement. Paul Dennett, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, Joanne Roney, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council and Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester shared their thoughts on the recently announced devolution deal and budget update.

Noting a single settlement from the UK Government that would provide funding for skills, net zero, housing, transport and more, the leaders said this was great news for the city region.

Eamonn Boylan said, “Generally, it’s a good day for Greater Manchester. We’ve done well. And I’d like to pay tribute to my team who have worked hard to get to this point.”

Joanne Roney said,We’ve got the ambition, hopefully, the powers and a good outcome. Thank you partners for being with us in helping us to deliver this.”

View the video here.

Over on the Invest Newcastle Stand, Joanne Roney Chief Executive of Manchester City Council joined the session ‘Women Who Power the North’. The panel brought together female leaders from a range of Northern cities to discuss their roles and experiences in driving the economic and social transformation underway across the North of England. Joining Joanne was Pam Smith chief exec of Newcastle City Council, Sarah Green Chief Exec of the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, Katherine Fairclough Chief Exec of Liverpool City Region and Sheena Ramsey chief exec of Gateshead Council.

Joanne Roney, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council said, “We must never stop in this quest. I feel an absolute personal responsibility as the first-ever female chief exec of Manchester City Council to put not just gender equality but equality in all forms at the heart of what this city does. I owe it to every single Mancunian to do that.

“Never lose sight of who you are. I've never felt I had to change my leadership style to be more like a man. Make sure when you’re smashing a viewing you’re throwing a ladder behind you so others can have the opportunity.”

Women Who Power the North

Finally, to close the Manchester stand, Place North West hosted a session called "15-Minute Neighbourhoods.” This panel hosted by Julia Hatmaker, Editor of Place North West brought together Stephen O'Malley, Founding Director of Civic Engineers, Phil Mayall, Regional Director of Muse Developments, Matthew Warner Landscape Architect & Director at Layer Studio and Professor Sadie Morgan Co-Founding Director of dRMM.

View the video here.

To view the programme for Thursday at MIPIM, click here.

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