Stuart Parker: Taking the ScotlandIsNow message to the world at MIPIM 2019

Morgan Sindall Construction’s managing director in Scotland, Stuart Parker, looks ahead to the united Scottish delegation heading to MIPIM 2019.

Stuart Parker: Taking the ScotlandIsNow message to the world at MIPIM 2019

Stuart Parker

Now in its 30th year, MIPIM, the world’s largest international property festival held annually in Cannes, is perhaps more relevant than ever.

In all likelihood, the 2019 conference may be the last time UK delegations will attend while the country is still a member of the EU. Communicating that our city regions are still collectively outward-looking and open to foreign direct investment will be a priority for all.

But it is also a landmark MIPIM for Scotland. Traditionally, our cities have represented themselves individually – as is the norm for those across the rest of the UK.

But 2019 sees Scotland present an unprecedented united front; channelling effective public-private partnership to take the ScotlandIsNow message to the world.

The delegation is led by the Scottish Government, backed by our core cities and supported by industry partners. Together, we have an unrivalled opportunity to secure the capital investment and flagship projects which can catalyse urban regeneration and inclusive growth across Scotland.

Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are each individually in the top ten UK cities which have attracted inward investment in the last year. Taken as a whole, Scotland is second only to London in this list. Collectively, our offer is compelling.

With more than 26,000 attendees from 100 countries, MIPIM is the best stage to present it to the global community of real estate financiers.

Morgan Sindall Construction is a proud stakeholder in Scotland, so backing this year’s collaborative delegation was a natural step for us.

But MIPIM has always been important to the business.

Why is the world’s largest real estate festival a priority for a main contractor?

There’s a growing trend for construction companies to get involved earlier in the development process. At the most basic level, it leads to better outcomes for customer and contractor. There’s less time wasted in the design stage and projects can be delivered more quickly and efficiently.

It’s something we have advocated for years. With our wider Morgan Sindall Group capability, however, we’re also able to offer a more comprehensive approach than many main contractors.

Innovative public-private joint ventures and local asset backed vehicles (LABV) are made possible by Morgan Sindall Investments Limited (MSIL) – the Group’s investment arm. Places like Slough and Bournemouth have been transformed by this kind of collaboration. It provides credible options for urban regeneration to local authorities contending with diminished spending power.

MIPIM provides a great opportunity to showcase this capability and build relationships with customers from multiple sectors.

And we pride ourselves on forging those long-term relationships with customers. Being customer-focused is an oft-touted mantra by companies across all sectors – but it’s seldom evidenced.

Understanding the sentiments of both public and private clients is greatly facilitated by MIPIM.

Because while flagship deals take the headlines and drive much of the media interest over the three days, the conference also sets the agenda for the year ahead.

Themes and issues debated during the festival cut right across the built environment. It’s always been a priority for us to be part of those conversations at the earliest possible stage; to understand and shape the discussion around what customers are looking for their developments to deliver, over and above the bricks and mortar of the build.

One agenda key to Morgan Sindall Construction is enabling inclusive growth. We’re collectively resolute that development should happen with people in local communities – not to them.

Last year at MIPIM Morgan Sindall Group hosted a bespoke event entitled Winning the UK Regeneration Game discussing the best way to drive growth that works for all.

This year I’m delighted to be involved in a keynote session in the Scotland Pavilion – Real Estate with a Purpose, at 10am on the Thursday – where I’ll be discussing similar themes with other industry leaders, and Katrine Feldinger Head of Investment at the Scottish Government.

2019 can be a milestone MIPIM for our united delegation. Morgan Sindall Construction is proud to be a partner and I look forward to taking the ScotlandIsNow message to the world.

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