Michael Portillo headlines Scottish Property Federation annual conference

(from left) SPF vice chair Andrew Sutherland, Michael Portillo and SPF chair Paul Curran
(from left) SPF vice chair Andrew Sutherland, Michael Portillo and SPF chair Paul Curran

More than 200 delegates gathered at the EICC yesterday as broadcaster and former cabinet minister Michael Portillo, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP and Scottish cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown MSP, attended this year’s 10th annual Scottish Property Federation (SPF) conference.

The trio addressed key issues of attracting investment post Brexit, and creating a competitive business environment for the sector which provides some £6 billion of GVA to the Scottish economy per year, with a particular focus on the importance of attracting global capital to Scotland while driving economic development at a local level.

The conference also heard from policy makers at UK, Scottish and local government levels on how they plan to drive local economic development in towns and cities.

Delegates also took the opportunity to question industry speakers from Edinburgh’s New Waverley investors Artisan Real Estate, Quartermile Developments, Santander UK and Miller Developments on investment, development and major bank perspectives on their perceptions of global capital and local development throughout the day.

SPF chairman and Quartermile Developments MD, Paul Curran, as well as leading local political figures from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen also took to the stage during the conference to speak about the importance of attracting global capital.

Paul said: “Global Capital is crucial to the success of the Scottish real estate industry and to the Scottish economy. We were delighted to have our keynote speakers Ruth Davidson, Keith Brown and Michael Portillo here today to respond to our industry’s key issues.

“I recognise that headline figures of falling sales and investment is a major concern but don’t forget there are many success stories in our Scottish industry and we need to continue to be forward thinking and adaptive in what we do. Our message to government now is that we need the support to make a bigger contribution to the economy because we have the potential to do so much more.

“I now look forward to working as chair of the SPF throughout 2017 to support and be part of progress that I’m sure will see the industry move in a positive direction.”

The event was jointly sponsored by Capita, CMS, M&G Real Estate and Quartermile Developments.

Nick Barton, business development director of Capita, said: “We are delighted to sponsor the SPF’s 10th annual conference. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to support and be part of a platform where the industry’s issues are addressed and real solutions are developed. As an industry, I hope we can continue to influence and improve the sector and more importantly, work together to bring about more investment into Scotland.”

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