Bruntwood is promoting the North of England and Midlands at MIPIM, the world’s largest property convention, in Cannes this week on the back of another landmark year for the development company.
The group, founded over 40 years ago, now has more than £1bn of assets under ownership across Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham and a development pipeline of £1.4bn.
Bruntwood chief executive Chris Oglesby said: “The urban renewal we see happening across the North West, Yorkshire and Midlands is led by its core cities.
“In 2017 it was gratifying to see the Department for International Trade push all that’s ‘Great’ about investing in this country. Clearly Brexit is out there and everyone at Bruntwood is determined to play our part, demonstrating that Britain remains open for business and a world-class centre for R&D in life science and tech in particular.
“At the same time, it’s important not to be distracted by the EU issue. Our organisation is completely focused on the future of our great cities and what it takes to make them even greater.
“So the theme of ‘Urbanity’ at this year’s MIPIM is something we welcome. Quite correctly, it poses questions such as how cities cope in a sustainable way with rising demands on transport networks, and how we serve an aging population living in cities?”
In the 12 months since MIPIM 2017 Bruntwood has launched the 52,000 sq ft Neo in the heart of Manchester city centre and the 70,000 sq ft Bright Building at Manchester Science Park. It also started enabling works for two new commercial buildings at Circle Square, which will provide the city centre with a new 2.4m sq ft neighbourhood, along with the largest green space in the city in a generation, and launched Hatch its new retail and leisure pop-up destination.
The last year was also marked by the completion of a number of significant developments including: the 110,000 sq ft Cornerblock located in the heart of Birmingham’s Colmore Business District; and the 120,000 sq ft refurbishment in Leeds, Platform, which occupies a prime location above the city’s railway station.
The science and technology sector remains key to Bruntwood’s aspirations for driving economic growth in the UK regions. “We think businesses based on R&D, innovation or high value intellectual property are where the UK truly excels.
“That’s what it says in the UK government’s Industrial Strategy and that’s an outlook we share. In the past 12 months we have redoubled our commitment to enabling growth in knowledge-intensive industries. That’s happening through the both provision of world-class physical facilities and support of equally-important partnerships between civic, academic, clinical and private sector organisations.”
Looking forward, he said upcoming highlights include the launch of our two new incubators for innovative digital and technology start-ups. One will be located at the Manchester Technology Centre, part of Circle Square whilst the other will be based at Platform, Leeds.
In the second half of 2018, construction work is expected to begin on the £60m expansion of the Citylabs campus. A joint venture with Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), Citylabs 2.0 and 3.0 will provide both Manchester and the UK with the world-class infrastructure for a precision medicine centre of excellence
A member of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Chris Oglesby, is also set to speak at a flagship event on the UK Government Pavilion, on Thursday 15 March. Joined by civic leaders from Northern city regions and other leading industry figures, he will champion the billions of pounds of inward investment opportunities available across the North.