by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Plans for a delegation of local business leaders to market Belfast at an international property investment event in March 2018 have been unveiled at an event in The MAC. This is the third year that a delegation from the city will attend the global real estate conference.


Guests at the event were invited to register to be part of an anticipated delegation of over 80 business leaders – including developers, banks, universities, architects, estate agents – from across the private and public sectors in Belfast that will attend MIPIM 2018.


An annual global property investment event that brings together the most influential global players from all international property sectors, MIPIM 2018 will take place on 13th-15th March 2018 in Cannes and is expected to attract around 2,000 exhibitors and 20,000 delegates from over 80 countries around the world.


Led by a taskforce of business leaders from the private and public sectors, the Belfast delegation’s role will be to champion Belfast as a leading destination in which to live, work and invest to an international network of investors, developers, occupiers and other vital influencers.


Councillor Mairéad O’Donnell, chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee said: “It’s important as a city that we drive regeneration and the investment to see this become a reality.  We need to work collectively as a city with all stakeholders to set out Belfast’s ambitions to grow in a sustainable way.”


She added: “It is not and should not be about development at any cost.  We want to develop the city in a way which is good for our residents and communities.  Inclusive growth is a cornerstone to our Belfast Agenda and we have to ensure we grow our economy in an inclusive way that tackles the inequalities that exist such as housing and low wages and we want to encourage investment that does this.  I have asked the Chief Executive of Belfast City Council to start a process of engagement with our communities and campaign groups to address these issues with our other city partners.”


According to Jackie Henry, senior partner at Deloitte Northern Ireland and chair of the Belfast at MIPIM Taskforce, this year’s delegation will build on the success of MIPIM 2016 and 2017.


“MIPIM 2017 was a phenomenal success, with 75 delegates, ranging from developers to lawyers, banks to construction companies, from Belfast attending to represent the city and deliver over 20 separate events on the Belfast stand, which highlighted specific opportunities in the city. Our stand attracted immense interest, providing us with a unique platform on which to highlight the wealth of opportunity for both occupiers and investors.


“We go to MIPIM as Team Belfast across the public and private sector, and that is already paying dividends. Since March 2017, Belfast City Council and the delegation have followed up with numerous inward visits from international investors, developers and companies that will relocate to new or refurbished buildings. A number of the schemes now in planning have been brought forward as a result of the business connections made at MIPIM, and others are still working with us on matching up their aspirations to the opportunities here.


“We are once again putting in place a programme of compelling events with a particular focus on partnering with other MIPIM delegations to ensure the Belfast proposition at MIPIM is reaching new audiences and investor networks.”


Suzanne Wylie, chief executive, Belfast City Council, said that there was a real momentum in Belfast with a marked increase in the number of developers, investors and tourists being attracted to the city: “This city has the skills, the ambition and the energy to drive the region forward. As the economic driver of the region, our responsibilities lie deeper than just within the city itself. A successful Belfast will ensure a successful Northern Ireland.


“With the Northern Ireland Investment Fund and the Belfast City Investment Fund in place, as well as today’s announcement in the Autumn Budget by Philip Hammond that he will open talks on a Belfast Region City Deal, we have a lot to shout about in relation to initiatives which will attract investor attention.


“Any major city in Europe which is serious about promoting itself will be at MIPIM. That’s why we took a decision to take a delegation to this internationally renowned event back in 2015 and attended in both 2016 and 2017.


“We return for a third year with confidence that Belfast and indeed Northern Ireland is a great place to invest. We have to continue the fantastic work of the last two years, showcase our city and build positive perceptions among investors and global audiences. We have a very positive story to tell.”


“Belfast is developing a track record for attracting investment and investor interest but MIPIM is about more than that,” she continued. “It’s about creating a platform for our local construction, architectural, fit-out, engineering and many other real estate related companies to get out and develop their own business opportunities at MIPIM and ultimately create jobs for local people. It is important to stress that Belfast wants sustainable growth and to make sure that residents across our neighbourhoods feel its benefits.  With the vast number of cities and development schemes on show there are many new business opportunities for our delegation out at MIPIM.


“We have built up tremendous support across the private sector promoting Belfast but it requires continued hard work and commitment in the long term. We are telling our story to the world, convincing them of the opportunities to invest here and of course we want that to create jobs for local people.”


A number of organisations have already pledged their support for Belfast at MIPIM 2018, including: Belfast City Council, Deloitte, Signature Living, Titanic Quarter, TLT Solicitors, TODD Architects and McAleer & Rushe.


The delegation will host unique events at the Belfast stand across the three days at MIPIM, with each event centred around a range of ‘key strengths’ that underpin the city’s investment proposition, including: Talent, Tax, Technology & Innovation, Location, Fast Growth Sectors, Track Record for FDI, and Quality of Life.  


For more information about Belfast at MIPIM, follow @BelfastMIPIM on Twitter or visit

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Ready for MIPIM.....Jackie Henry, senior partner at Deloitte and Suzanne Wylie, chief executive, Belfast City Council.



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