MIPIM UK 2018: Turning Challenges into Opportunities?

17 Oct 18

MIPIM UK gets into full swing today in London with key players from across the UK’s property sector making their way to Olympia.


MIPIM UK gets into full swing today in London with key players from across the UK’s property sector making their way to Olympia.

As the MIPIM UK programme acknowledges we are living in a period of unprecedented social, economic and political change – which presents challenges and opportunities for both the public and private sectors. I’ll not discuss Brexit. I do want to look at the changing role of local authorities though in the property sector, which MIPIM UK captures.

Local authorities are under severe financial and budgetary pressures; they have top-down demands from government to ensure sufficient housing and employment land supply; yet they are competing with each other local authority for the investment and the delivery that creates the jobs, that creates local income and wealth and that supports local economies.

Local authorities are also under pressure from their communities who demand investment and improvement but without necessarily being prepared to welcome new developments yet the days of publicly-funded regeneration are lost in the mists of time.

As I say there are some fundamental challenges for local authorities but there are many who see them as an opportunity – to change the way they work, to seek creative solutions, and to work in new ways with the private sector to address the challenges they face.

For local authorities, such as Warrington Borough Council, with their joint venture with Homes England and Muse they are taking a more proactive approach to maximising the financial benefit of their assets. They are prepared to act as an investor, to develop schemes and to take a more risks.

Leeds City Council is taking a more positive interventionist approach. They have recently begun to raise their profile with a shared vision of the South Bank. They are working with landowners, stakeholders and local businesses to realise their ambitions for new public spaces, a city park, and connecting with the waterfront at the heart of their vision.

We need to turn this uncertain era of rapid change into an era of greater collaboration and creativity to find the solutions to the challenges facing both the public and private sectors.

There is no doubt that successful local authorities can be the driver for developing truly sustainable communities. And the private sector is integral to helping deliver those visions bringing the skills, knowledge, experience and capacity to achieve these ambitions.

If you are at MIPIM UK then please send Andrew Gale an email to catch-up for a coffee and chat.