North East on a roll

July 20, 2019

There was some UK national media coverage that suggested the 30th international property show, Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier (MIPIM), held in the spring each year in Cannes, suffered from a good measure of Brexit blues, writes Chris Dobson

Prepared for a general ‘thumbs down’ for the event from members of the regional property sector who had attended, I was surprised by the consistency of reports. MIPIM was definitely alive and kicking, indeed the North East was on a roll.

Kevan Carrick, principal of JK Property Consultants, says “the Invest Newcastle team and delegates did not go there for fun.”

He continues: “[Attending MIPIM] is a large investment and payback is needed – they worked hard to achieve this.

“The team did an excellent job with a stand in a first-class location and a full programme of interesting talks from keynote speakers that attracted a good audience.

“The council representatives worked hard, often speaking at wider conferences promoting the region and having a large number of meetings with potential developers and investors.

“The delegates, made up of developers and property consultants, were an excellent team: they are competitors but showed great collaboration to promote the region, as well as their own developments and services.”

Adam Serfontein, managing director at the Hanro Group and chair of Developing Consensus, is equally supportive.

“MIPIM Europe is undoubtedly the largest and most effective gathering for investors and developers seeking to enhance their position in the UK and beyond,” he says.

“What sets it apart is that it not only involves the investment and development community, but also the public and private sectors.

“The standards were improved this year. MIPIM Europe marked its 30th anniversary, so it’s good that it has stayed fresh and effective for this length of time,” he adds.

“There are more towns and cities collaborating to promote regions, making it easier for investors and developers to deal with an area, rather than individual places.

“The Invest Newcastle stand was supported by over 30 private sector partners, but also by Business Durham and Gateshead Council, which was very effective.”

As for regional messaging, Adam says that while “the Northern Powerhouse is important to the North East, what is absolutely critical is that the public sector and the private sector in the seven local authorities continue to work more closely together year-on-year.”

“We absolutely must work together to achieve regional success,” he adds.

Chris Pearson, of Gavin Black & Partners, says there was “a great spirit of teamwork on the stand again and the partners really gelled in promoting the region.”

He adds: “The presentations on the stand were particularly good, including Pilgrim Street, World Wheel project, Baltic Quarter and Stephenson Quarter launches.

“It was well received with good stand attendance.”

Likewise, Knight Frank’s Paddy Matheson is upbeat.

“MIPIM 2019 was a massive success for Knight Frank.

“We had such a positive response from our launch event, and we are now engaging with a number of developers who are interested in the Stephenson Quarter,” he says.

“It was a privilege to be an ambassador for our region, and I have no doubt the conversations that were had will lead to longer-term business partnerships and investment for our region.”

Hanro’s Erin Peart echoes the positivity.

“It was clear to see this wasn’t a jolly to Cannes – this is about spreading the word, getting the good news message that Newcastle and the North East is open for business.

“Despite other cities holding or waiting for the Brexit effect, we are still building, still looking for development partners and still open for investment.”

Pat Ritchie, chief executive at Newcastle City Council confirms the fantastic exposure Newcastle and the wider North East got at MIPIM 2019.

“We had an incredibly strong delegation that highlighted the depth and breadth of expertise and opportunity we have in our city,” says Pat.

“It was an opportune time for our region with the North of Tyne devolution deal and the launch of so many exciting development opportunities.”

The regional delegation comprised almost 90 people who joined to showcase the North East to the international property world.

The Newcastle representatives were joined by international experts, such as Walter Boettcher, from Colliers International; Melanie Leech, from the British Property Federation; Sir Ed Lister, from Homes England; Anna Gissler, from Stockholm Business Region; and Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, from Hafen City, who were all part of thought leadership discussions throughout the week.

My mild suggestion that MIPIM seemed to have been somewhat lacklustre was refuted by the very person who was praised by all for her efforts this year – Jennifer Hartley, director at Invest Newcastle.

“This was a record year for the North East with 32 private and public sector partners joining Invest Newcastle to profile the region at this international real estate event,” she says.

“Almost 90 delegates worked extremely hard to make the most of their time there.

“Hundreds of face-to-face meetings with potential investors and partners were held across the three days and the feedback so far doesn’t suggest that anyone struggled to arrange meetings with intended parties.

“Our on-stand and off-stand events were well attended, and we reached the main players we had hoped to,” continues Jennifer.

“Overall MIPIM’s 30th year was a great success, with them welcoming over 26,800 delegates from more than 100 countries, including 5400 international investors and 560 political leaders.

“Everyone really pulled together to showcase what is so fantastic about Newcastle and the North East in the best possible way,” adds Jennifer.

“Bring on 2020!”

Private sector partners supporting the regional representation at MIPIM included Avison Young, the World Wheel Company, UK Land Estates, Knight Frank, Ryder Architecture, Mott Macdonald, Newby, Sir Robert McAlpine and Engie. Public sector partners included Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, Business Durham and Invest North East England

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