Opportunities to bring jobs and growth to the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire area will be promoted by the Local Enterprise Partnership to business investors and developers at a major international event in France next month.
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 12 to 15, 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 26,000 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 third year running Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP will be joining forces with nine other LEPs across the Midlands to exhibit together in a high-profile Midlands UK pavilion, ensuring that the region has the big presence required to 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. Investors can get a real taste for the area at these presentations, with the chance to sample produce supplied by local firms including Povey’s Oatcakes, plus wines from Buzzards Valley Vineyard, Tamworth, and ales from Lymestone Brewery, Stone, and Titanic Brewery, Stoke-on-Trent.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost CBE commented: “MIPIM is an important showcase for the LEP and our partners so that we can raise the profile of our area on the world stage. Having a presence in the Midlands Pavilion means we can achieve a much bigger impact while retaining our own distinctive identity.
“It is vital that we are active in generating 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 prime location at the centre of the country 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: “There will be a significant presence again at MIPIM from Stoke-on-Trent, and chatting to those businesses who are attending, it is fantastic to hear them talking of their successes in investing and growing in our city. The opportunities and profile that MIPIM provides is a great opportunity to showcase the exciting things happening here on an international stage, supported by the Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire team. The confidence shown by big businesses in choosing Stoke-on-Trent as their home and the significant investment that is taking place across the city is ensuring we make and create a great city for people in Stoke-on-Trent today and in the future. MIPIM is a great opportunity to help us achieve this.”
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Councillor Mark Winnington said: “MIPIM provides the perfect platform to sell Staffordshire to a global audience. There are numerous successes to showcase from our county, which plays a vital part in the working of the Midlands Engine.
“And as part of the Midlands Engine delegation we will be able to present Staffordshire’s case to investors as part of a strong regional partnership, supported by colleagues from the Department for International Trade. This also enables us to achieve the best value for money during our time at the event.
“It is important that we have an effective presence at MIPIM as it is the preferred forum for international businesses to hold in depth discussions with local authorities and LEPs.
“We will ensure delegates are left in no doubt about Staffordshire’s many strengths including its excellent connectivity, skilled workforce, world-leading leading businesses and development opportunities. Skills are increasingly ever more important in our offer to future investors and that is why we are taking our two local universities to MIPIM.
“We will of course be demonstrating how strong partnerships between the public and private sectors are essential in delivering economic growth with associated infrastructure and making Staffordshire a better place to live and work.”
Business sponsors supporting the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire delegation include Knights, Faithful & Gould, St Modwen, VXFIBER, Engie, Solarplicity, Wardell Armstrong, Nordic Heat, Virgin Trains, Genr8, Harworth Group, A&J Mucklow, Glancy Nicholls Architects, PHD Architects and Fieldfisher LLP, plus Keele and Staffordshire universities.
The Midlands UK pavilion will showcase investment opportunities worth £11 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 busy programme of events, including presentations, receptions and panel discussions.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire events include presentations on developments around Keele University, including the Keele Growth Corridor and New Keele Deal; Stafford Station Gateway, improving access around the county town’s railway station and opening up employment and housing sites; Rugeley Power Station redevelopment, and the i54 South Staffordshire western extension.
Investors will hear that one million square feet of commercial space is in the planning pipeline in Stoke-on-Trent, showing the private sector’s confidence in the city. Opportunities to be showcased include large developments at Unity Walk in the city centre, Stoke Station gateway scheme, Swift House in Stoke, Smithfield in Hanley and the council’s bid for a share of the government’s multi-million pound Transforming Cities Fund, to improve public and sustainable transport and planting the seeds for the next stage of the Stoke Station scheme. There will be updates on Staffordshire University’s £40m apprenticeship hub, and the work gathering pace to create a smart, sustainable city through the £52m district heat network, which is improving energy security and making the city a distinctive and attractive place in which to invest.
There will also be updates demonstrating how the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone has created 1,000 jobs since 2015, with 1,000 more in the pipeline and has remediated 44 hectares of brownfield land, with 23 hectares developed out.
Sir John Peace, Chairman of the Midlands Engine, said: ““MIPIM provides a platform from which we can showcase the many strengths of the Midlands to a wide audience. Our economy, which has remained strong and resilient, presents a compelling offer to potential investors.
“The Midlands is already a highly competitive investment destination. By attracting more investors, developers and businesses, we are able to improve our infrastructure, innovation and productivity – creating a stronger economy for all.”