19 March, 2009
The Manchester delegation displayed ambition, partnership working, strong leadership and confidence at this year's MIPIM event.
Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester council, who was the driving force behind many activities, said there was no shortage of ideas or vision to achieve the region’s potential to become an economic powerhouse, despite a realistic view of the short-term impact the recession may have in terms of causing delays to developments.
He acknowledged there were challenges, both now and in the future, but added in a series of addresses that Manchester had been through previous recessions and setbacks – such as the 1996 IRA bombing – and had come out stronger.
"We live in very difficult times and we recognise that there is almost no place in Europe or elsewhere which is not struggling to adapt to the realities that exist in the marketplace today," he said.
"Our clear message from Manchester is that we have the ambition, the leadership and the partnerships not only to deliver but also to achieve for Manchester not only what is right for Manchester but also what is right for the nation.
"What we have tried to demonstrate is confidence in the future of Manchester. We’ve spent a long time, with some success, in communicating to investors, occupiers and others that Manchester is an ideal location for them.
"Because of the times we live in we have to redouble our efforts to be able to say we still know where we are going and we will get there."
Chris Oglesby, chief executive of property giant Bruntwood, took up the theme of strong partnerships between the public and private sectors.
"We must be ready for growth when it comes," he told delegates.
"With a strong foundation of partnerships we are better placed to continue. By working together we can also make sure that central government money is well allocated.
"The private sector must ensure the public sector is addressing short-term issues but keeping a sufficient eye on the long-term."
Source: Manchester Evening News