BUSINESSES and councils have been urged to work together to drive growth in the East Midlands economy.
The call came from Peter Richardson, the chairman of D2N2, the local enterprise partnership for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, at the launch of the Nottingham and Derby stand at MIPIM.
Both cities have delegations at MIPIM, along with Leicester, and are due to hold a series of events over the next three days aimed at persuading potential developers and investors to put money into a series of major regeneration sites.
Mr Richardson launched the stand in front of an audience of around 40 business people and council representatives on Tuesday morning, shortly after MIPIM officially opened.
Mor than 20,000 people are expected to attend MIPIM over the next few days, with Mr Richardson and D2N2 chief executive David Richardson due to hold a number of meetings about development sites during their stay.
Speaking to the Post after the stand’s launch, Mr Richardson said: “It is important that we see public and private sector working together because it’s better for them to do that than work apart.
“This kind of approach is what D2N2 is all about. Working in partnership and supporting each other can achieve a lot. If we’re honest, it hasn’t always been the case here.
“But we are coming together now at an opportune moment.”
Mr Richardson says there is now a renewed sense of optimism among businesses about their future prospects.
“Businesses are feeling more confident, though it is still a challenge to attract funding. But there is a big opportunity for us right now.”
Mr Richardson said towns and rural communities outside the two major cities should not be ignored in the race to attract investment.
“I don’t want us to forget the coalfields, the agricultural areas or the visitor economy, alongside the city centre regeneration zones,” he said. “The future is about creating long-term opportunities for all of us.
“We are here to put ourselves on the map so that not just national but international investors can see that our area has some unique opportunities to drive business forwards and assist regeneration. For me, that’s what being here is about.”
The launch of the D2N2 stand at MIPIM followed a breakfast event held by Nottingham where a new 3D app detailing the city’s enterprise zone and a short film about Nottingham featuring actress Vicky McClure was unveiled in front of national media.
David Bishop, Nottingham City Council’s corporate director of development, said: “We are not just going to go round delivering Powerpoint presentations and droning on about development sites. We are focusing on our talent and creativity because that is the edge that Nottingham brings.”
Tim Garratt, a director of the commercial property firm Innes England, has been involved in the organisation of Nottingham’s presence at MIPIM for the last few years.
He added: “We have been trying to find a message which was not about being open for business or pushing the envelope, which is what all other cities say. We asked the question of what people look for in a city and it is talent.
“The film is about as un-corporate as it gets, but that hopefully says something about Nottingham and why it’s different.”
Source: Nottingham Post