In the third of our blogs from the MIPIM international property event in France, which is being attended by a joint Coventry and Warwickshire delegation, Henry Bellfield, company director of Barberry Developments, explains why the firm has invested in Coventry.
Barberry Developments have been supporters of Coventry and Warwickshire at MIPIM for around six years.
In fact, the reason we invested in the city stems from the presence at this show. We were impressed with the vision and vitality that the city council displayed, so we decided to take a closer look.
Several years down the line, we are major investors in the city centre and are still as encouraged by the sense of ambition from the city as we were when we first met.
We invested £1.5 million to purchase a 20,000 sq ft vacant property on Bishop Street, which was later converted to a state-of-the-art fitness club for PureGym .
We also acquired Waterside apartments at the Coventry Canal Basin in a £2.2 million deal.
Our Bishop Gate development , which is rising on the city skyline, stands on the former Royal Mail sorting office site, which was purchased by Barberry following those initial meetings in Cannes.
Last year we began construction on 1,116 student units with the £60 million first phase of the development delivering 725 units by September next year.
It is being developed in partnership with Coventry University , which is funding the scheme. The complex will eventually consist of five tower blocks with two standing at either end an impressive 50 metres high.
The university mirrors the ambition of the city. It has a clear vision for the future and a clear plan of how to get there. We are delighted to be delivering a part of that plan.
This year Coventry and Warwickshire are at MIPIM as part of the wider Midlands UK which is made up of the areas involved in the Midlands Engine.
And there is no doubt that the city and county can stand comparison with any of the areas across that patch – and far beyond.
Plans for the city centre – which are now being delivered – are exciting, while initiatives such as the UK City of Culture 2021 bidand the success of Jaguar Land Rover are bringing unprecedented profile to the city and the county, which can only be good.
Of course, all areas of the UK have their challenges, but when viewed in comparison to competitors on this MIPIM global stage, Coventry and Warwickshire is standing in a good position.