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Crewe makes the cut

My life is really quite marvellous. If rather bonkers. Fresh from the announcement that I am about to take up the chair of the Northern Gateway Development Zone (see blog 19 October), it was my extraordinary privilege to chair a session on our stand at MIPIM UK on Thursday morning about the amazing rail connectivity […]

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In uncertain times, MIPIM UK can still pull in the investors

Whatever is happening to the markets, in our increasingly unreliable world, it is rather helpful to be able to say, to local authorities or  LEPs or whoever else, that the organisers of MIPIM can always pull in investors. Without fail, whether it be at MIPIM France or MIPIM UK (celebrating its third outing this October) […]

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Gateway to opportunity – so get in early

The second leg of Brandon Lewis’s exhausting MIPIM whirl last Thursday (see Tuesday’s blog) was to launch the prospectus of the Northern Gateway Development Zone opportunities to investors and developers. The Northern Gateway is an extraordinary partnership to promote the investment potential arising from HS2 infrastructure throughout Cheshire and Warrington, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, on the […]

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The tyranny of Microsoft, the joys of MIPIM

Apologies for my radio silence for this past couple of weeks. This was due partly to the amount of work necessary in the run-up to MIPIM (followed by MIPIM itself of course) but mostly due to the fact that Microsoft saw fit to visit Windows 10 upon my home computer from which I write my […]

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Building a proper construction industry

I have written before (blog 15 June 2015) of my great admiration for the work of Mark Farmer in trying to focus the minds of the property industry on our most looming time bomb: that of the severe lack of capacity in the construction industry. The problem is simply massive. And getting bigger by the […]

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MIPIM UK – a bit of a blur, all of a triumph

Sooooo… MIPIM UK 2015.  Well, it’s all a bit of a blur really… So much HAPPENED! Olympia: well it may not be Cannes, but 2015 proved that 2014 was not a fluke, and it sure does work for us.  The promised protesters were not exactly out in force (perhaps, like in my student days, the […]

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We must think beyond a five-year cycle

Being technically a civil servant (HA!) I did not attend the Conservative Party conference in Manchester this week – contrary to what some of you seemed to assume – but there was no escaping it really. It certainly didn’t pass us by that almost all the big promises (on housing in particular, but also on devolution, […]

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Up early to plan Norwich’s future

A great event was staged in Norwich on Monday morning by the (fabulously 
named, and uber-energetic) Tig Armstrong of the Greater Norwich Growth
 Board.  As loyal readers will know, I may be useless at saying no generally,
 but I don’t get out of bed at the crack of dawn for just anyone! I felt the […]

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End of the Rhodes? Not likely

It would be something of an understatement to say that the property industry is awash with colourful characters (although sometimes that can be a mixed blessing of course). And none quite so colourful as the indefatigable and perfectly inimitable Peter Rhodes OBE, the managing director of Reed MIDEM’s London office and the progenitor of MIPIM. […]

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Time well spent with Macmillan

The past few months have truly been the busiest of my life. Hugely enjoyable, if rather manic. But sometimes certain things come along for which you just have to find time. One such was a somewhat diverting request from Macmillan Cancer Support who came to see me back in March to ask for a bit […]

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