Opportunities to bring jobs and growth to the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire area will be promoted to business investors and developers at a major international event in France next month.
The LEP’s investment team, Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, will be flying the flag for the region on the global stage at the MIPIM conference and exhibition in Cannes, supported by leading local firms which are joining its delegation and helping to sponsor the visit.
MIPIM, which runs from March 13 to 16, is Europe’s largest exhibition and conference for property professionals and provides a marketplace for UK and international investors to meet, discuss projects and opportunities, and do business.
The MIPIM event attracts more than 24,000 delegates from 100 countries and is attended by government ministers, local authorities, inward investment bodies and LEPs as well as businesses in order to attract investment into the UK.
For the second year running Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire will be joining forces with nine other LEPs across the Midlands to exhibit together in a giant Midlands UK pavilion, ensuring that the region can compete with other global destinations.
The LEP will also be promoting the area’s attractions to investors, including Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s major industrial and commercial sites and development opportunities, at a range of special events, meetings and briefings during the Cannes exhibition.
LEP chairman David Frost CBE commented: “MIPIM is of key importance in raising the profile of our area and putting us on the map. Joining in with the Midlands pavilion means we achieve a much bigger impact while still retaining our own distinctive identity.
“It is very important that we keep a continuing flow of new investment into Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and promote growth opportunities to a national and international audience, so that we can create more and better jobs for local people.
“Our central location makes this a great place to live, work, invest and do business, and we have a very impressive case to make to international investors.”
Councillor Abi Brown, deputy leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “It’s so important that we continue to promote our city and the fantastic opportunities we have available at events like this. We are doing everything we can to drive regeneration and develop Stoke-on-Trent in a way which is good for our residents and communities.
“When it comes to investment you have to be on the front foot and get your name out there. Our stand at MIPIM attracts interest from all over the globe, which gives us a unique platform to sell our growth vision to some very big developers and investors. One of the projects we will be highlighting at the event will be the Stoke Station Masterplan, and how the station, which had more than 3.2m passengers in 2017, has the potential to become a key transport hub not just for the city, but for the wider region.”
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Councillor Mark Winnington said: “MIPIM provides us with an opportunity to showcase Staffordshire to global investors and that we are key drivers in the Midlands Engine. Together we can demonstrate how the region is the economic powerhouse of the UK and that our county will play a major part in boosting productivity in the Midlands.
“The event is the preferred forum for international businesses to hold in depth discussions with local authorities and LEPs. We have a number of sessions in our diary which will enable us to scope what potential investors want and explain to them how locating in Staffordshire will be advantageous to them. We need to ensure that Staffordshire is represented at this level so we maintain our recognition as a leading place to do business.
“The LEP delegation will be demonstrating how strong partnerships between the public and private sectors have delivered real results here with the county council playing an integral part. This has built on our attributes as a connected county and our continued drive for a better skilled workforce – all of which enables us to attract more investment nationally and internationally.”
Businesses supporting the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire delegation include Siemens, Nordic Heat, Wardell Armstrong, Knights, Faithful & Gould, Stoford Developments, Harworth Group, Network Space, Gleeds, VX Fiber, Mucklow, Solarplicity, and CWC Group, plus Staffordshire University.
The Midlands UK pavilion will showcase investment opportunities worth almost £10 billion across the region. More than 70 public and private sector partners and the Department for International Trade (DIT) will join the LEPs in representing the Midlands. The region’s presence is being coordinated by the West Midlands Growth Company, with key partners including Birmingham Airport and East Midlands Airport, and the Midlands Enterprise Universities Group.
The Midlands UK pavilion will have separate sections for each destination partner, and an event space to host a programme of more than 50 events, including presentations, receptions and panel discussions.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire events include presentations on plans for Stoke Station, Spode Works and the University Quarter and work on creating a smart, sustainable city through programmes such as the District Heat Network, plus the Stafford Gateway plans to improve access around the county town’s railway station, opening up employment and housing sites.
Employment sites being promoted at MIPIM include the Ceramic Valley and i54 South Staffordshire enterprise zones; Meaford, Stone; Trentham Lakes, Keele University’s Science and Innovation Park; Beacon and Redhill Business Parks, Prime Point 14 and Creswell Park, Stafford; Kingswood Lakeside, Cannock; Four Ashes and Featherstone, South Staffordshire, and Liberty Park and Lichfield South in Lichfield.
Sir John Peace, Chairman of the Midlands Engine, said: “The Midlands UK delegation will show the world that the region is open for business. We are confident about the future and are ready to build on the Midlands commercial and trading history.
“Where else can you find one of the fastest growing regions in the world, sitting at the heart of one of the world’s largest economies, with a bed of skills and infrastructure in which to grow your business.
“By working together, Midlands UK will promote the region to investors and trade partners – delivering more growth, exports, jobs, and a better quality of life for those living in the region.”
Business sponsorship is contributing £86,500 towards the £125,000 cost of Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s presence at MIPIM. The remainder is coming from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire County Council and Stafford Borough Council.