Tag Archives: Invest in Nottingham

My MIPIM 2014

It’s been another busy and exhausting, but enjoyable and productive, trip to Cannes for me. This is my third consecutive year at MIPIM and I’d say this trip has been my most successful to date in terms of outcomes. The really important bit now is the follow-up’s. The atmosphere has been better as well; London is booming and there are strong signs of a return to property investment and development in the regions going forward.

Beyond the many meetings and getting some great new contacts/ leads/ intel and opportunities, some of my defining highlights this week for me have included;

– Getting a selfie with Boris Johnson! – Not sure who the Photo-bomber was!? You can see the MIPIM keynote address by the Mayor of London by clicking here.
– The excellent Shedmasters lunch up in the hills.
– Dinner with friends of Innes England and Cricket legend Derek Randall.
– Meeting footballer, turned Property Developer, Gary Neville on the Manchester stand.
– Lunch with Willmott Dixon and Louise Brooke-Smith, who will be appointed global President of RICS later this year.
– Getting some good Twitter coverage in terms of retweets.
– Seeing the Invest in Nottingham video to promote the City. It’s edgy, fresh and dynamic – click here to see it
– Finding the ‘New London’ App recently launched by the NLA and Estates Gazette. It’s an interactive map of all London boroughs and provides key information on all major developments – a very useful tool to have. You can download it by clicking here.

One of the most interesting points I picked up this week was from Tom Bloxham of Urban Splash. I spoke to him a few days ago and asked “what does the future hold for urban living?” He explained that during the Industrial Revolution the factories dominated the cities and that peoples class/ wealth determined how far out of the city they could live. Today, thanks to cities like Manchester, people are living in the city centres again. This has wide ranging economic benefits. For city living to be sustainable long term, a greater degree of diversity is required to provide housing for ALL ages/ needs, this should include older people and of course young families. A key component missing in most regional City centres these days is schools. If these can be provided, then the diversity and economy of our cities will continue to grow.

Here’s a few photos from this year…






Turning a corner…

A few people have commented recently that my blog has gone quiet, so I thought I’d give a brief update on what I’ve been rather consumed in recently…

We have been very busy over the last couple of months. From our own experience, and from talking to people in the Construction sector generally, it seems that there is a tangible increase in confidence. We are currently seeing a surge of opportunities which we’re involved in. I genuinely hope that this is a strong indication of a more sustained outlook after five somewhat challenging years!

During September we completed a number of student living developments taking our total count of bedrooms designed and delivered to over 13,000! In Birmingham we completed Phase 2 of our Aston Student Village project, on-campus at Aston University with Bam Construction.  Down in Colchester we completed the first phase of the Meadows project which is a new part of an expanding campus at the University of Essex, this was a PPP deal with ULiving (a consortium between Bouygues Development , Bouygues Construction and Derwent FM). Up in Scotland we have also completed phase 1 of a campus redevelopment for the University of Stirling with Graham Construction. We have very recently been bidding for another substantial student living scheme in the North West. We are up against some high profile competition on this scheme. Meanwhile our Crown Place project for the University of Liverpool is continuing at pace for a completion next summer. You can view this project live via the project webcam, click here.

Led by our London office we have recently secured a Planning Approval for a large mixed-use development at Redhill station in Surrey (see image below). Our client is Solum Regeneration (a JV between Network Rail and Kier Investments). The project includes 150 residential apartments, a food store, a multi-storey car park and a new train station entrance building. We are also working on a number of other high-end residential projects in central London.

Redhill1Our Retail team have been very busy recently with a number of clients, including our longest standing client; M&S. This is our 91st year working with M&S! Up in Northwich we are nearing completion on a new-build Waitrose Store with H2O and Russells Construction. This project is part of a mixed-use Marina development.

Our Si Yuan building at the University of Nottingham recently picked up a prestigious award at the ‘Insider East Midlands Property Dinner’.

Judges Special AwardSituated on the university’s Jubilee Campus, the project was shortlisted in a number of categories at the region’s annual awards.  Announcing the award, judges said

“We felt this iconic development was worthy of a special mention. Repeatedly shortlisted, it scored so highly in so many categories – development, regeneration, sustainability design – that it was felt that this remarkable building and all those involved in it merited real praise and recognition. An unprecedented building deserved an unprecedented award.”

We worked with the University of Nottingham, GF Tomlinson, Gleeds and a number of other consultants on this scheme. We won this project through a design competition and I’ve still got one of my original sketches for this scheme on my desk.

Our team in Mumbai remain busy and have been bidding on a number of new projects, including a major convention centre. In September our team moved into new offices which are more centrally located with strong transport connections. Our international links are expanding with a number of active links with companies in Europe, America, Russia, Australia and the Middle East. We will be attending Mipim again next spring in Cannes. I will be part of the Invest in Nottingham delegation for 2014. I’ve supporting this great team of people for the last two years whilst over at Mipim, but I’m really pleased to be a formal part of the team next year.

So positive signs are definitely out there and I hope we can continue to build on our recent successes and emerging opportunities…