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An unseasonal outbreak of scarves and waterproofs hit the great and the good yesterday at this year’s MIPIM, with an unwelcome downpour.  Thank goodness, then, that this morning has brought an instant cure in the shape of by a radiant dose of Cannes sunshine.  This is much more like the MIPIM we know and love.

MIPIM itself has a great mix of familiar faces and news kids on the block, not least from the Russian Federation countries that seem to have endless pots of cash and a whole fleet of leggy lovelies dragging all and sundry through their marquee.

I awake this morning after a successful and warmly-received launch of UKR’s pilot project, the 30 million pound, 200 home Sandfield Village in Nottingham. While all eyes are on this first project, we are anticipating it will kick-start our wider regeneration plans across the country, with over 20 other local locations vying for our attention.

The key to getting this far has been a genuine team effort from Barclays, Jones Lang LaSalle and Nottingham City Council.  This ground-breaking ‘build for rent’ project fits exactly with Nottingham’s ambitions to serve the people coming to the city for the plethora of high-end jobs being vreated there.  These are high-end homes for this market.

Why has this scheme generated so much interest?  Because we will be creating a village that does something new: it faces the consumer.  Old regeneration models no longer work and we need to find new ones quickly, by moving regeneration into the private sector without public subsidy.

As Graham Chapman, deputy leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “We are providing positive support for what is an entirely new and sensitive approach to development.  High quality development in Nottingham is always welcomed, especially when it provides economic benefit to the city in terms of jobs and places to live.”

Now it is Wednesday morning and – having recovered from last night’s bout of interrogation by candlelight from a posse of well-meaning journalists all excited by what we are calling a ‘game-changing’ project  – I am off to fulfill my public speaking engagements.

No need for the scarf.  With yesterday’s launch under my belt it’s sunshine all the way now.

Top image credit : Photobank gallery


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