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Central South builds global property connections at French event

27 March 2024
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A business-led consortium flying the flag for the Central South region joined more than 20,000 delegates and 6,500 investors at the MIPIM 2024 event in Cannes recently.

Hailed ‘the world’s property market’, MIPIM is an annual gathering of some of the most influential players from property sectors around the world.

The Central South staged its own events at MIPIM focusing on maritime, culture and sustainability. It also secured high profile visits from Lee Rowley MP, minister for housing, and Tim Newns, MD of levelling up at the Office for Investment.

Tim said: “It’s really great to see the public and private sector partnership in the Central South region.”

The region was also represented on the UK Cities stage and at a UK Cities dinner where trade minister Lord Dominic Johnson MP applauded the region and highlighted the major financial sector based in Bournemouth.

The UK Cities dinner was organised by Liverpool and supported by Belfast, Cardiff and the Central South.

Lord Johnson said: “Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth are huge hubs, with Bournemouth being one of the biggest financial service hubs in Europe.”

The 45-strong private sector-led group included representatives from Atkins Realis, Blake Morgan, Boyle & Summers, Cavendish, Edgingtons, Go Southampton, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Igloo, Knights Brown, Kier, Maritime UK Solent, Morgan Sindall Group, Ordnance Survey, Savills, Solent Freeport, Solent Partners, T H Planning and the University of Southampton.

Portsmouth City Council, Fareham Borough Council and Basingstoke & Deane Council supported the project.

Kevin Valentine, MD of Hampshire-based construction firm Knights Brown, said being at MIPIM had enabled his team to make valuable connections not only with businesses and organisations in the Central South but also with investors keen to come to the region.

Leigh-Sara Timberlake, CEO of Business South, noted that the Central South is going from strength to strength.

“Business South is proud to coordinate the promotion of our region on an international stage.

“We’re definitely seeing more visibility for our region, and it was fabulous to have the support of Ordnance Survey, who created a digital map for us highlighting the investment sites in our region.”

And Gavin Hall, head of Savills’ Central South office and chair of Business South’s Regenerate Central South Action Group, stressed the importance of attending international events like MIPIM if the region is to attract investors.

“We held our own Central South Investors Lunch, and that was an opportunity for us to showcase the region to potential investors.

“The profile for the region is being raised both nationally and internationally and it’s gratifying to see the engagement with UK government ministers, as well as overseas investors.

“The atmosphere at MIPIM certainly seemed to be turning more positive, and the Central South is ready to benefit from that positivity.”


Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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