Martin Reeves – Chief Executive of Coventry City Council
We said before we came out to MIPIM this year, that Coventry and Warwickshire had a really strong offer to bring to the show – possibly the strongest ever.
During the week, it is fair to say that view has not only been borne out but actually we left MIPIM in a stronger position. This year it was about a winning combination of substance and confidence.
The volume of deals announced appears to have been more than any other year, and Coventry and Warwickshire has been right up there with other leading cities.
The announcements by Complex Development Projects and Barberry Developments that they are investing heavily in city centre schemes which will provide homes and bring brownfield sites back to life, really did capture the headlines.
But while the volume of deals is high, the credibility and track record of developers and funders behind the schemes is impressive.
There are always people “flying a kite” at MIPIM, but we have seen plenty of quality investors and developers who are interested in working in our area for the first time.
Places and regions need things that can amplify their strengths and then project them confidently on a national and international stage. In Coventry and Warwickshire, we have got the UK City of Culture 2021, and that has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind at MIPIM. It has made a real impact, and that will continue to grow over the next three years.
The fact that the financial impact of Hull’s year in the spotlight has been released at the same time only underlines its importance, quite aside from the cultural, social and community benefits.
Of course, the wider region also has the Commonwealth Games in 2022. That by itself is a very big deal, but the fact that it will come hot on the heels of the UK City of Culture, will put us firmly on the international map.
As 2021 gets closer, several of our major schemes will be fully underway. In a year’s time demolition will have started to make way for the City Centre South, while work on the railway station quarter and Friargate will have accelerated.
In addition, the city and the county, including our Local Enterprise Partnership also picked up internationally recognised FGI awards whilst out at MIPIM for, among other things, our business potential and our business friendliness.
These are exciting times for Coventry and Warwickshire, and they are exciting times that are being fully recognised not only by the region but across the UK and beyond.