Strong interest in Warwickshire at property market showcase
"During the three days, the Warwickshire booth was the most visited Midlands destination and the third most popular overall."
The Midlands UK Forum for Growth, a new online event showcasing £12 billion of investment opportunities in the Midlands across housing, transport, regeneration and green energy in the region, proved a resounding success.
As the first regional trade and investment event of its kind, the forum brought together public and private sector leaders from the UK and overseas, utilising the latest online conferencing technology from Swapcard.
It was led by the pan-regional partnership, the Midlands Engine, made up of the nine LEP areas of the East and West Midlands, with the objective to achieve the region’s vision for greater sustainable growth and economic prosperity.
As home to almost 11 million people - more than Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales combined - the Midlands region drives 22 per cent of England's exports and generates £239 billion for the UK economy each year, an economy the size of Denmark’s.
The event attracted over 500 registrations over the three days, with keynote speeches from Midlands Engine lead Sir John Peace, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and presentations from the nine LEP areas, including Warwickshire and Coventry.
Just as with a physical trade show, there were online booths for businesses and organisations to promote their locations and services. During the three days, the Warwickshire booth was the most visited Midlands destination and the third most popular overall.
The event also included panel discussions on a range of topics. These included: Industrial and Logistics Driving Midlands Growth; Repurposing of High Streets; UK Commercial Property in the Aged of COVID -Trend and Forecasts; Cutting Edge Technology and Science Parks; Resilience and Sustainability - Moving Towards Zero Carbon; Revitalising the Visitor Economy; Skills and Education - Building a Brighter Future, and Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.
Panellists came from local Warwickshire and Coventry business and education, including Marion Plant OBE from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, Sarah Windrum from the Emerald Group and Martin Yardley from University of Warwick Wellesbourne Campus.
Midlands Engine, who part-funded the event, plans a showcase website where these presentations from Warwickshire and other Midlands destinations can be viewed online.
The strong interest shown in Warwickshire during the event followed on from positive market trends on the Warwickshire and Coventry area. Property information company EG reported last month that Coventry was the best performing commercial property market in the UK, with property enquiries up 119% between January and July. Growth was driven particularly by logistics.
Earlier in the year, Warwickshire was reported to be one of the strongest regional office markets as measured by enquiry levels, as companies looked at options to locate staff outside of main city hubs. Warwickshire saw the fifth highest surge in interest, up 79%, compared to 44% for Worcestershire, 21% for Leicestershire and 13% for Oxfordshire. Again Coventry led the UK with 112% growth in interest over the 6 month period.