A new regional approach will be launched in March when Nottingham, Leicester and Derby come together to put the spotlight on the East Midlands and its huge potential for investors and developers.
Called Power of 3, this is the first time that the three regional cities will collaborate on the international stage at MIPIM, the world’s largest property event held every year in Cannes.
Representatives from Nottingham, Leicester and Derby city councils and regional inward investment leaders will come together to highlight the massive potential of the East Midlands economy – currently the fastest growing in the UK outside Greater London.
The event in MIPIM, hosted by East Midlands Airport, is expected to attract national and international investors looking for opportunities in the UK – at a time when opportunities are on the fall in the capital.
Andy Cliffe, MD of East Midlands Airport, said: “We are looking forward to supporting this event to show how the three great cities of the East Midlands are pulling together as one. East Midlands Airport is a uniting part of this collaboration. The airport plays a vital part in the growth of the region as a gateway to domestic and international markets for enterprise, catalysing opportunity and offering a powerful conduit to a vibrant talent pool.
“The East Midlands is centrally located in the UK and nowhere else in the country are there three such vibrant cities, so geographically close to one another. This is an incredibly strong proposition.
It’s well known that investors are increasingly looking outside London for value and opportunity – and the East Midlands is making the most of this, said Jon Collins, leader of Nottingham City Council.
Cllr Collins said: “The three cities of Nottingham, Leicester and Derby – along with East Midlands Airport – are working together at MIPIM to highlight the unique collaboration in the East Midlands region.
“This regional ‘powerhouse’ event is keen to bring more growth and opportunity to the East Midlands. There will be involvement of the LEPs in this collaboration – the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership and D2N2. East Midlands Airport is involved to highlight the region’s combined offer of talent pool and location – across manufacturing, distribution, logistics, M1 corridor and enterprise zones.”
The East Midlands is not only seeing massive export growth, but also a fall in unemployment and was recently recognised as one of the top ten regions for potential in the start-up sector. Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord Deighton has heralded the East Midlands as an “excellent place to invest” – and said HS2 would help unlock even greater growth in the region.
Helen Donnellan, head of inward investment at Leicester City Council, said: “We are delighted to be part of this event which we know will bring in lots of opportunities. We will look forward to working with investors and developers who are interested in our region.”
The Power of 3 event will celebrate the collaboration of the three cities and the event will focus on the strength of the region and its strong proposition – not only in terms of its enterprise zones, and what it has to offer, but also the region’s willingness to work together.
“Political focus on the regions could also have a hugely positive impact on the East Midlands, with devolution a real buzz word outside of the capital at the moment”, added Ranjit Banwait, leader of Derby City Council.
“The East Midlands has really pushed itself to the fore during 2014.
“We are three ambitious cities each with our own identity – each with our own success story, culture of innovation and geographical connectivity.”
Speaking as a guest at Innes England’s Market Insite, Lord Deighton, who is Minister for UK infrastructure projects, said that as well as HS2, there is the £500 million extension of rail electrification from Bedford to Nottingham, as the first phase of the ‘Electric Spine’ programme which will see the whole of the London to Sheffield route electrified.
He said: “Add to that, major investment in the road infrastructure in the East Midlands, such as the A453 widening due to be finished later this year and which improves access between Nottingham and the M1. Through growth deals announced in July 2014, the Government will invest more than £17 million in projects across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to fund a wide range of projects to unlock local growth.”