Last week representatives from City Property Association and Westminster Property Association (using the joint brand name London Property Alliance) attended the global property conference Mipim, which was attended by 24,000 delegates. We organised a busy week of activities with industry and political stakeholders, championing central London’s real estate industry to an international audience.
In between organised events we met with members and stakeholders of CPA and WPA to discuss key issues affecting real estate development in central London, took in a large number of panel discussions and debates, and spoke to representatives from cities around the world.
DAY 1 – Tuesday 13 March
Our series of Mipim events started with a private lunch on UK collaboration hosted by London Property Alliance and Sheffield Property Association (SPA), with support from New West End Company.
We welcomed 50 leading figures from property and politics from London, Sheffield and across the UK. Following introductory speeches from WPA Chair James Cooksey and Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, John Mothersole – our guests discussed the opportunities and challenges of closer regional partnerships.
Attendees included leaders and representatives from Belfast to Bristol, West Yorkshire to the West of England, alongside the leaders of Manchester City Council and City of London Corporation – Sir Richard Leese and Catherine McGuinness – Chairman of Homes England Sir Eddie Lister and Deputy Mayor of London Jules Pipe CBE. Two UK Government departments (Department for International Trade and Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) and Board members from the associations and sponsors also took part.
Feedback from the lunch will contribute to a research paper by renowned think tank and charity Centre for London, to be published later in the year. ‘Only Connect: London and the UK’ (working title) is co-sponsored by City of London Corporation, London Councils, London Property Alliance, Mayor of London and Westminster City Council.
Following the lunch, CPA Vice President David Ainsworth spoke on a panel discussion in the London pavilion on ‘City of London: Smart Streets’, alongside Christopher Hayward – Chairman of City of London Corporation’s Planning & Transportation Committee. The panel discussed the future of streets and public realm in the Square Mile, including the impact of Crossrail; freight and consolidation issues; and initiatives to improve air quality and public safety, such as Bank on Safety trial scheme.
That evening, we attended a City of London investor reception jointly hosted by City of London Corporation, CPA and London Chamber of Commerce & Industry. It was an excellent networking opportunity for over 100 guests involved in real estate investment in the Square Mile, which included an address by Catherine McGuinness, the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee at the City of London Corporation.
CPA/WPA Executive Director Charles Begley also went on to represent the associations at an Estates Gazette and Reed MIDIM London investor dinner later that evening, which was also raising money for international charity Article 25.
Day 2 – Wednesday 14 March
Our second day of activities kicked off with a panel discussion in the UK Government pavilion moderated by WPA Chair James Cooksey.
Our speakers were Sir Richard Leese (Leader of Manchester City Council), John McGill (Director of London Stansted Cambridge Consortium), Catherine McGuinness (Chairman of City of London’s Policy & Resources Committee) and Martin McKervey (from CMS and Board member of Sheffield Property Association, Sheffield City Region LEP and Transport for the North).
Reflecting on the findings of the previous day’s lunch – as well as other UK collaboration activities led by the Alliance and Sheffield Property Association over the past 12 months – the panel discussed the importance of regional partnerships in driving national economic growth. Discussion topics included the importance of improving transport infrastructure across the UK, the role of cities as the drivers for regional growth and active partnerships between local authorities.
Later that day, we attended Sheffield Property Association’s drinks reception: celebrating one year since the first property association outside of the capital was founded. CPA Vice President David Ainsworth spoke at the event alongside Jackie Sadek from UK Regeneration, Alexis Krachai from Sheffield Property Association and Daniel Ladbury from Sheffield Hallam University.
David went straight from the reception to an interview with journalists from Mipim News, about the joint CPA and City of London Corporation research ‘The City as a Place for People.’ Read the coverage here.
Later that evening the Property Week Editor’s Dinner was attended by both CPA/WPA Executive Director Charles Begley and WPA Chair James Cooksey, and a summary of the discussion is due to be published in this week’s Property Week magazine.
Day 3 – Thursday 15 March
‘The City as a Place for People’ report was formally launched in the main auditorium of Palais des Festival, with a presentation of the key findings by the City of London’s Head of Research Dr Laura Davison. The research looked at the importance of the sense of place to the City of London as a global business destination, including its unique history; world class architecture and public realm; and its burgeoning leisure and cultural offer.
A panel of industry leaders including CPA Vice President David Ainsworth discussed the research, with an introduction and questions moderated by Catherine McGuinness from City of London Corporation.
CPA/WPA Executive Director Charles Begley represented the associations at a London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Build to Rent Lunch later that day.
Back at the London Pavilion one of the final discussions, supported by Farrells, debated the challenges and opportunities in planning for London as a city of 10million people, as visitors prepared to return back to the UK following three intense days of conversation, collaboration and building new connections.