The Bristol and Bath region is set to benefit from increased levels of inward investment and a firm place on the world stage, following a successful delegation to MIPIM, the international property event in Cannes, France, this week.
Invest Bristol & Bath, which attracts inward investment to Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, showcased the region’s substantial development opportunities to investors, developers and senior business representatives from all over the world.
The delegation including Bristol Mayor George Ferguson, BANES Council Leader Paul Crossley, LEP Chairman Colin Skellet, as well as senior directors from North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils, found a renewed sense of confidence in the market and held meetings with serious investors who were actively looking for projects in the region.
With plans for the region’s Enterprise Zone and five Enterprise Areas now well developed, Invest Bristol & Bath was able to target specific investors with a clear interest and experience in the high value opportunities on offer.
In all, the Bristol and Bath delegation engaged with over 700 investors and property industry professionals from hundreds of global businesses throughout the four-day event. Hundreds of delegates visited the Invest Bristol & Bath exhibition stand, modelled on Bristol’s new Engine Shed (images available) in the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, which became quite a talking point on the exhibition floor.
More than 80 investors, delegates and property professionals attended Invest Bristol & Bath’s Developing the region event on Wednesday 12 March, outlining how the region intends to use £1bn in government funding and how the private sector can influence that spending.
A debate on the role and opportunities of the European Green Capital, which Bristol will hold in 2014, saw active and lively discussion. Delegates including previous Green Capital Stockholm as well as the UK’s original sustainable city Leicester, confirmed the role brings clear and tangible business benefits.
Other highly successful events run by Invest Bristol & Bath included a pre master-planning session on The Bath Quays Waterside Project and a development workshop for the Junction 21 Enterprise Area.
Based on the region’s strong performance in attracting inward investment, Paul Crossley, Leader of BANES Council, was invited to host a seminar on successful strategies for foreign direct investment in the regions, by FDI specialists Oxford Intelligence.
Bristol and Bath’s approach to attracting foreign direct investment was also recognised at a major awards ceremony at MIPIM. FDi magazine, part of the Financial Times group, ranked the Bristol and Bath region seventh in the top 25 European Cities and Regions of the Future for its strategy on attracting inward investment.
Colin Skellett, chair of the West of England LEP said:
“MIPIM was a great opportunity to put the Bristol and Bath region on the map alongside major cities from around the world.
“As the London market overheats investors are looking to the regions, and Bristol and Bath is perfectly placed to capitalise on that shift, with our high skills base, strong manufacturing sector and knowledge economy and of course high quality of life.
“In meetings this week we’ve seen considerable interest in the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, in Filton and in the Bristol and Bath Science Park and its surrounding area, plus the Bath Riverside site and new Innovation Campus, amongst others.
“I am confident there will be real business deals on the back of our work at MIPIM this week. Cities and regions do best when they’re in the spotlight and MIPIM was a chance for Bristol and Bath to shine.”
Liz Dunn, partner at Burges Salmon, said:
“MIPIM 2014 has been very successful for us and we think it will provide an excellent springboard for Bristol’s year as European Green Capital.
“Our MIPIM Real Estate team of Rick Read, Colin Ligman, Euan Bremner, Philip Beer and myself have seen significant international interest in investing in the region and have been able to talk positively about the opportunities to our clients, agents and numerous legal contacts across Europe.
“MIPIM has created both an opportunity and a challenge for the south west authorities in terms of meeting the expectations of investors and developers. The lasting relationships being created with businesses like ours in the region will help to deliver those opportunities and showcase the skills and talent available.”
Invest Bristol & Bath is representing the region at MIPIM and is responsible for attracting investment to Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and Gloucestershire. The agency is part of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership.