The Importance of MIPIM to Greater Manchester

Written by Sir Richard Leese

MIPIM, the largest event of its kind anywhere in the world, is an enormously important marketplace for a city-region that has ambitions to grow and to encourage development.

The importance of MIPIM to Greater Manchester

MIPIM, the largest event of its kind anywhere in the world, is an enormously important marketplace for a city-region that has ambitions to grow and to encourage development. The reason that Manchester attends with such a strong delegation is simple; it gives us a phenomenal opportunity to raise the profile of the city and show why the development industry should be interested in us. On top of this, it gives us the opportunity to have serious discussions around how the industry can contribute to growing an inclusive economy in Manchester.

For Manchester, this means more than glossy pictures of bricks and mortar in the city. We want to tell a story about what goes on in the buildings, who’s working in them, who’s living in them, and what’s happening around them. We have an incredibly strong partnership who are all signed up to a vision in Manchester, and this is key to the region’s success at MIPIM.

The last year

Over the last year the scale of development across the city has gotten to a point where it exceeds pre-recession levels, and we are seeing a very buoyant and successful market. Office developments are signing up tenants long before completion, but we do still have an under-supply of residential accommodation. We are also seeing an increased change in occupations in the city, particularly a shift towards technology.

With Brexit on the horizon, Manchester needs to continue to deliver a clear message that we are still an international city, and we intend to grow as an international city. As we come to MIPIM 2019, we will be very close to completing some of the developments at Manchester Airport, which again underlines our status as a key international city. Considering our key sectoral strengths, we need to show that we are in sectors that will be continuing to grow, for example our work in the Life Sciences, Big Data and Cyber, and the Creative Arts. This will show that for anybody developing in Manchester, they will continue to get occupants for their commercial buildings, people will live in them if they are residential, and a growing population will provide customers for leisure developments.

Expectations for MIPIM 2019

Looking back on MIPIM 2018, the Manchester partnership again had a really interesting approach, emphasising the quality of life and place. A River Runs Through It: The Northern Gateway Vision was an excellent insight into the plans for Lower Oak Valley and Collyhurst and we also had our first women-only panel in Devolution, Diversity & Decision-Making which I think is incredibly important. As well as this, very interesting themes were brought up in sessions focusing on the outside of the city-centre, for example Bolton: Premiership Development and the discussion of their town centre. By presenting ourselves as a cohesive city-region, we can offer the view of a city of 2.83 million people, not just a city-centre.

Clearly last year there were some tough times with the flooding of the Pavilion and subsequent move, but the team did a fantastic job in how they managed that and delivered a successful MIPIM. This year we have made the decision to return to the Manchester Pavilion, knowing that the quality of the stand reflects the quality of the partnership. We have undertaken a number precautions to assure ourselves of the safety of the Pavilion; we have completed a very thorough risk assessment of the site with ARUP helping to advise on that. We have also had extensive discussions with both REED, the organisers of MIPIM, and the City of Cannes. We will this year also be offering a 20% discount for any of our 2018 partners who will be returning this year, in order to reward the contribution and loyalty they have shown the partnership.

For our 20th year at year at MIPIM, I expect us to continue to tell the world about how the city is developing and growing, and key investments in the city such as GCHQ and Qiagen. I am fairly certain that by March, there will be quite a number of key announcements made in the city, some of which may well be made at MIPIM itself.

For me, it is incredibly important that our partnership gets involved and puts forward event proposals to be included as part of the Manchester Schedule. We want to see innovative proposals with enough detail that will help us make the decision to include them. Once again, this year we want to have a real focus not on just the buildings, but what actually happens inside them. This industry is about end-users, whether they be commercial or residential, and the skills that make a successful development industry in Manchester. And that is, fundamentally, about the people.

Partners can submit an event proposal for consideration to be included in the Manchester Programme here.