Neil Edginton – of EDG Property
If I was asked to sum up the Coventry and Warwickshire presence at MIPIM in three words, I would probably go for – energy, enthusiasm and momentum.
I am relative new to the Coventry property scene, but have been to MIPIM regularly over the years, primarily through our developments in Birmingham.
EDG Property is currently transforming The Co-Operative – a much loved 1950s building in the heart of the city – into a mixed use, high end apartment-led scheme which will feature an internal residents’ park, exercise areas and private residents’ lounge with rooftop terrace.
I have to say that my prior experience in Coventry was limited, and my perceptions were not massively high.
Once I dug a little deeper however, I was amazed at what I found. The city has a great story, some wonderful buildings and city representatives who really want to make things happen.
Initiatives such as the CW Champions and the successful 2021 City of Culture campaign are now shedding light on those once hidden treasures, and there is a real buzz about the city and its direction of travel.
I have found a real determination to want to bring improvements into a city centre which has its challenges (haven’t they all?), and a tangible willingness to work with others to achieve that aim.
Don’t take my word for it. It has been hard work at times to persuade some commercial operators to look at the city because they shared some of the misconceptions I had, but once we get them to the city, they are blown away.
And that really reflects the Coventry and Warwickshire presence at MIPIM.
It has been an exciting week. There have been several major announcements about developments in the city centre which will bring increased footfall and will help transform brownfield sites.
City of Culture has been a seam running through much of what has been talked about inside the Midlands UK pavilion, and there is no question that it has really made people sit up and take notice.
These are the people who may previously be looking at the likes of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Bristol.
City of Culture is and will shine a light on the good things of the city – and it will be illuminating for many.
As well as being a part of the wider Midlands presence at Cannes, the Coventry and Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership has its own dedicated meeting and event space, which has been buzzing. This space allows people to have really focused time with Coventry’s senior officials, who are willing to give their time and attention to existing partners and those expressing an interest in the area.
That has been the case for years at MIPIM, and it has helped to carve a “can-do” reputation among the property fraternity and that can only be good.
These are exciting times for the city. It’s Coventry’s time to shine!