Top of the agenda for investors was the issue of certainty around Brexit, with John Slade, Executive Chairman of Evans Randall Investors, saying: “London is being held ahead by things like fintech & proptech, but the City is desperate for good news. Brexit is causing indigestion in the market, we need to solve it to retain our position in the world. If we don’t solve Brexit in the next few months we risk setting ourselves back in the European market by years. It’s a very real opportunity but it’s also a threat.”
UK Government representatives were also out in force, with keynote addresses from Housing Minister Esther McVey; Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade, Graham Stuart; and Homes England Chief Exec, Nick Walkley.
Esther McVey focussed her speech on housing delivery, saying “We will shortly announce a range of changes to accelerate the planning process. I also propose that in the next 10 years the UK becomes the world leader in modular housing.” Graham Stuart used his keynote to underline the importance of foreign investment to the UK market: “Over 70% of the UK population believes foreign investment is a good thing. That’s not something you find in other countries. Britain is pro-business”, whilst Nick Walkley focussed on the housing crisis, saying: “we are currently building antiques: the housing industry is working in the same way it was 150 years ago… Homes England wants to be genuinely disruptive in the marketplace.”
On the first morning of MIPIM UK Summit, the Department for International for Trade hosted a breakfast briefing at Number 10 Downing Street with an address by Investment Minister Graham Stuart, where Tees Valley, Cardiff Capital Region and the West Midlands Combined Authority pitched investment opportunities to 80 UK and international investors, including APG Asset Management, BNP Paribas and Fosun Group.
At one panel session regional mayors came together to discuss devolution, asking whether the economy is being rebalanced, and looking at some of the ‘big opportunities’ outside of London. “The UK has the most unbalanced economy. Rebalancing can only start with the Government giving us power and resources – devolution,” said Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region.
London Deputy Mayor for Planning, Jules Pipe, gave an address on the London Plan, saying: “London is one of the most innovative, entrepreneurial, desirable places to live. It’s a magnet for global investors, and on the face of it, we’re looking really prosperous. However, there are challenges that we face in our endeavour to ensure good growth.”
Roger Madelin CBE, head of British Land’s Canada Water development, was another keynote speaker, focussing on sustainable development best practices and future opportunities. A key point in his speech was on the value of public realm for mixed-use developments, drawing from his experiences both at Argent and at British Land: “We learnt from King’s Cross that amazing public realm is good for business” – this is a lesson that he has taken to Canada Water, where ‘sustainability and children’ are at the heart of the development process.
Chaired in part by leading broadcaster Fiona Bruce, the conference’s main stage played host a diverse and exciting range of sessions throughout the two days, with highlights including ‘social impact: how does it relate to real estate?’, ‘cultural impact and placemaking: its role in positioning a city as a destination and value creation’ and ‘international insight: what does the future hold for global investment in UK real estate?’.
Certain issues came up as a common thread over the two-day summit: the reputation of the property industry, in particular, was a key area of discussion, with a dedicated panel session chaired by ING Media’s Leanne Tritton tackling the question of how to better promote the industry’s reputation. Another key theme was social impact – how can the industry work better for the public good, and linked to this, and present throughout a large proportion of discussions, was the issue of climate change, and the role that real estate has to play in improving the current situation.
Diversity was a major issue during the conference this year and 43% of speakers at MIPIM UK Summit were female. A number of panel sessions addressed what needs to be done to make the sector better reflect the broader society, including a session with Creation Property Network and BPF Futures supporting young talent in the industry.
Alongside the main conference programme was a range of fringe events, including a series of building tours of the most important new buildings in the City of London and a gala dinner for over 200 stakeholders in the built environment.
Rohan Marwaha, UK Regional Director at Reed MIDEM, said: “This year we made some exciting changes to the format of MIPIM UK Summit, moving away from the traditional trade show format towards a focus on high level networking and content in a new venue at Old Billingsgate. There has been a fantastic buzz across the event with senior decision makers from private and public sector. We are pleased to have hosted over 100 investors, with a busy programme of dedicated sessions, presenting the best opportunities from across the UK.”
The real estate community convenes again in March 2020 for MIPIM in Cannes, which is expected to be the first major event in the sector after the UK leaves the EU. The theme ‘Future is Human’ will explore the contemporary world of property, promoting growth that is sustainable, economic and socially inclusive, as well as in surmounting environmental challenges.
Pictures of the event are available on the following link here.
About Reed MIDEM:
Founded in 1963, Reed MIDEM is an organiser of professional, international markets that are essential business platforms for key players in the sectors concerned. These sectors are MIPTV, MIPDOC, MIPCOM, MIPJUNIOR in Cannes, MIP China in Hangzhou and MIP Cancun in Mexico for the television and digital content industries; MIDEM in Cannes for music professionals; Esports BAR in Cannes and in Miami for the esports business; MIPIM in Cannes, MIPIM UK Summit in London, MIPIM Asia Summit in Hong Kong SAR, MIPIM PropTech NYC in New York, MIPIM PropTech Europe in Paris, MIPIM PropTech Asia in Hong Kong SAR for the tech and real estate industry; MAPIC in Cannes, MAPIC Russia in Moscow, MAPIC Italy and MAPIC Food in Milan, and MAPIC India in Mumbai for the retail real estate sector. www.reedmidem.com
About Reed Exhibitions:
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 30 countries. In 2018 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 38 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. www.reedexpo.com