21 February 2018 News
A delegation of over 70 Belfast business leaders will return to MIPIM in Cannes next month, where they will present a portfolio of major real estate investment and development opportunities in the city to a potential audience of over 28,000 international property investors, developers and occupiers.
The trip has been made possible thanks to a record financial support of over £300,000 – 80% of which has come from private sector sponsors.
Over 30 organisations will represent the city at MIPIM and will deliver 15 events across the three days at MIPIM, each centred around a range of ‘key strengths’ that underpin the Belfast’s investment proposition, including: Talent, Tax, Technology & Innovation, Location, Fast Growth Sectors, Track Record for FDI, and Quality of Life.
Jackie Henry, chair of the private sector taskforce leading the Belfast at MIPIM delegation, said that that the event presents an invaluable opportunity to highlight the momentum that is driving Belfast’s growth and success, and the wealth of investment and development opportunities on offer to inward investors.
“MIPIM 2018 will be about building upon the excellent success achieved through our attendance at the conference in the past two years. Once again, the Belfast delegation will champion our strong proposition as an outstanding city in which to live, work, visit, learn and, importantly, invest,” she said.
“We have structured a busy programme of engaging events that will enable us to showcase how and why Belfast is an attractive city for investors, and what is driving growth and regeneration in the city.
“Alongside a programme of real estate project showcase events, we will be participating in a series of ‘special interest’ slots that will ensure the Belfast proposition at MIPIM is as compelling as possible. This will include a panel session on the creation of new city neighbourhoods, chaired by Sir Howard Bernstein and a session featuring Eddie Irvine, focusing on the key accelerators of Belfast’s growth and success.
“With the support of Queen’s University Belfast, we will also be bringing one of our famous electric DeLorean cars to conference – which fits in very well with our focus on talent, innovation and the future of Belfast, and will help encourage strong footfall to our stand.“
Councillor Mairead O’Donnell, chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, said: “This is a really exciting time for Belfast. This year alone we will see over 1,500 new hotel bedrooms and 2,000 student beds released into the market, Foreign Direct Investment continues to choose the North of Ireland as a great place to invest, and we have some spectacular growth happening across our technology and creative sectors. We believe that it is more important than ever that Belfast promotes itself on the global stage to ensure we attract increased investment to support our ambitious plans for this wonderful city.
“Investors, developers and employers who are familiar with Belfast can see first-hand the wave of transformation taking place in our city, and they are making positive decisions about their future here as a result. We want to keep building on that momentum, but it can only be achieved through strong collaboration with our private sector, city partners and Invest NI. MIPIM is one way which shows how this collaborative partnership approach can really deliver for our city and we are confident that, collectively, we will reap the benefits in the years ahead.”
She added: “It is important as a city that we drive regeneration and investment to see our ambitions become reality, but it should not be about development at any cost. We want to develop the city in a way which is good for all of our residents and communities. Inclusive Growth is a cornerstone of the Belfast Agenda, ensuring we grow our economy in an inclusive way to tackle the inequalities that currently exist across housing and low wages. We welcome and encourage investment which helps deliver on inclusive growth and makes this city a great place for everyone who lives, works, visit or studies in Belfast.”
For the first time, this year’s Belfast delegation will include Signature Living – the Liverpool headquartered hotel developer that first encountered Belfast at MIPIM in 2016 and has since committed to developing at least four hotels in the city, including the George Best Hotel and Lanyon Hotel.
“Over the past two years, I have seen first-hand how well the Belfast delegation promotes the city during the three days at MIPIM,” said Lawrence Kenwright, founder and chairman of Signature Living. “It was their positivity and enthusiasm about Belfast that ultimately caught my attention at the conference in 2016, leading to Signature Living now firmly establishing a long-term footprint in what we see as a vibrant, flourishing city.
“I look forward to joining the Belfast delegation to promote this great city and sharing my own positive experiences about the level of support and encouragement I have received as a new investor coming into this market.”
Councillor Mairéad O'Donnell, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee