Leader of the Council, Cllr John Clancy, looks at why events in the South of France this week could have a major impact on the future development of Birmingham.
The role of leader of Birmingham City Council brings with it many responsibilities – I have to play a number of roles. This week I will be part ambassador, part salesman as our city is in the globally significant shop window that is MIPIM.
Hosted at Cannes in the South of France, the global real estate show is a massive opportunity to promote and sell Birmingham to some of the biggest investors in the world.
Any city with ambition will be there and Greater Birmingham has unveiled its largest-ever events programme, showcasing the region’s leading investment offer. We’ll make it clear that this is the place to invest.
From my point of view, the main reason for being at MIPIM is that it’s a very efficient and quick way to meet a lot of people who might be in a position to come and invest in Birmingham. Something that might take several weeks can take place in just a couple of days.
I’m absolutely determined to bat for Birmingham and to make it absolutely clear that this is the place to come and invest and be successful in your investment.
But what does that mean?
Put simply I’m going to MIPIM to make sure we’re bringing jobs and housing to Birmingham. And I’ll be part of a team promoting projects that do exactly that.
Take for example the Birmingham Smithfield Masterplan. One of the country’s largest city centre development opportunities covering 14 hectares, the scheme is worth a combined £1 billion and will deliver 2,000 new homes and 3,000 jobs.
The great thing about Birmingham at the moment is that there are new parts of the city, especially in the centre, that we can start to re-imagine from the ground up. There are lots of people really interested in coming to invest and build here. That will involve creating jobs but there will also be lots of new opportunities for leisure in the city centre, for families to come into Birmingham.
I’m really interested in making sure we get the best investment and the best people to come and build in the centre of our city to make it an even more vibrant and exciting place.
Jobs and homes are the priorities, so we have to make sure, as we get lots of new people coming to this city and lots of Brummies staying here for the rest of their lives, that we get the offer right in terms of the cultural offer and the retail offer. We have to make sure that our offer is world class.
Another factor that will undoubtedly drive future investment and growth is the future arrival of HS2. This multi-billion pound project might be coming in 2026 but there’s no doubt about it, it’s going to be a really important part of the way the city grows in the next 10 years. Overseas investors, investors in the UK are really interested in coming to Birmingham to invest in that part of the city.
So that’s why I’m very excited this week and I’ll be telling people in MIPIM that Birmingham is the place where we build things and you want to put your money in here and invest in our city.