Why MIPIM is unmissable for our region

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“I’m often asked why go?”

What exactly is the value of MIPIM to Sheffield City Region people always want to know, says Martin McKervey, Sheffield-based property partner at Nabarro and chair of the property sector group on the Local Enterprise Partnership

He has been going to the world’s largest property fair, in Cannes in spring, for the last 15 years.

So he’s had plenty of time to think of an answer.

He says MIPIM - which is attended by 30,000 people - is the best place on the planet to find investors and that comes from having meetings with people you’d never usually meet without a lot of effort and trouble – some of whom you might never meet.

MIPIM is not a place where deals are done, but a place where connections are made.

This year, the Local Enterprise Partnership led the biggest, most organised, best backed contingent from the region Martin had ever seen.

He said: “We had some phenomenal successes with events focused on manufacturing and Factory 2050. We had a shared platform with Manchester and Leeds on the importance of HS2.

“And we showcased Sheffield city centre regeneration plans.

“A lot of us in the private sector were able to make introductions with people from the South.

“Nabarro sends 15 of its people and they know two or three hundred people each and they can ask ‘Is there a developer who wants to build retail?

“It’s that ability to connect Sheffield City Region with the South and Europe that we in the private sector believe is critical to growth.

“You don’t turn up and stroll about for a week. We did months of preparation.

“If you are trying to have a meeting with someone, in MIPIM they have time to meet you.

“It’s not a place where deals are done. But I have acted in many projects through this country where it was first talked about at MIPIM.

“This year’s performance was the best by Sheffield City Region I have ever seen. It was hugely important in my view, but it is not the end of the journey.”

The team also promoted sites and projects including Waverley, Markham Vale, Sheffield Business Park, iPort Doncaster, Robin Hood airport, Factory 2050, the Enterprise Zone and Chesterfield Waterside.

Martin added: “Manchester’s success in my view is in part down to a no-nonsense approach to business.

“We were actually doing a bit of that this year. We have to be confident. The world’s too small to be inward looking. We are preparing for the next one from now.”

Before the event, LEP chairman James Newman said: “Our message at MIPIM is straightforward: we have world class clusters, facilities and opportunities across the City Region that are of interest to the international investment community. They are underpinned by excellent national and international connectivity, the land to support growth, a first class skills pipeline and a public sector open for business.”