COUNCILLORS in Mid & East Antrim have agreed to spend £10,000 to send five delegates to a conference in London, according to council minutes.
The Mayor, Councillor Maureen Morrow and Councillor Gregg McKeen – the Chair of the Borough Growth Committee – will be joined by Chief Executive Anne Donaghy and ‘two council officers’ at the MIPIM UK Summit in London on October 14-15.
The Council minutes say: ‘The Mayor advised that approval was being sought for a Council delegation to attend the MIPIM Summit to be held in London from 14-15 October 2019 in order to position Council’s investment and place opportunities.
‘A number of Northern Ireland Councils had attended in the past and had found the summit to be beneficial.
‘This would be the first year for Mid and East Antrim Council to attend, which would enable the value to be determined.
‘The circulated paper highlighted a number of related topics and sessions to be held which would provide an opportunity to meet future investors. It was recommended that Council participate in MIPIM UK and bring back a report on the value of attendance at the Summit.
‘Ald Reid spoke of the increase in tourism figures and he welcomed the recommendation.
‘On the proposal of Ald Reid, seconded by Cllr A Wilson, it was agreed that Council representatives attend the MIPIM UK Summit 2019 in order to present its investment and place opportunities.
‘Total cost of £10,000 including flights and accommodation for the Mayor, Chair of Borough Growth Committee (Cllr McKeen), the Chief Executive and two officers.’
The Council minutes did not give a breakdown of the costs but online there was an indication of the costs associated with attendance.
The event’s website, showed on Wednesday, that costs for attending the summit were currently up to £900 per person.
That did not include travel, hotel costs and subsistence.
The organisers of the event say the MIPIM UK Summit is the leading UK event for the real estate industry.
It’s website says: ‘It is a place for industry leaders to gain insights from a high-level conference programme, to network, connect and do business.
‘The MIPIM UK Summit sits at the intersection of land, buildings, infrastructure, environment, economics, society, culture and technology, addressing the biggest issues facing UK real estate today.
‘The UK’s only national real estate summit covering all asset classes.
‘MIPIM UK Summit brings together top-level real estate professionals from all the world and investors from all asset classes to build partnerships, gain industry insight and discover outstanding projects.
‘The event is made up of a world-class content programme dedicated to real estate investment and development opportunities, an exhibition, and a plethora of networking opportunities over 2 days,’ the organisers say online.
BBC Question Time host Fiona Bruce is the Chairperson of the Summit this year.
The UK’s Housing Minister Esther McVey is giving the keynote speech at the summit at the event at Old Billingsgate in the City area of London.
In her keynote address, McVey is expected to set out how the Government intends to alleviate the housing crisis.
A press release from the organisers says: ‘McVey joins an impressive range of speakers at MIPIM UK Summit – the leading Summit for real estate professionals, from across the investor community, real estate and government.
‘Together, they will look closely at the changing dynamics of property and the investment opportunities for cities and regions across the UK, as well as the critical issues impacting on the future of UK real estate.
‘In particular, there will be a strong regional and political presence at MIPIM UK Summit, with the Department for International Trade, Department for Communities and Local Government, Scottish Government and a plethora of regional Mayors all due to attend or speak at the conference to promote UK plc.’
Rohan Marwaha, UK Regional Director for Reed MIDEM, is quoted as saying: “The presence of so many political leaders at MIPIM UK Summit, including the housing minister and a number of metro mayors, sends a clear message to the international investor community that UK real estate remains a crucial component of post-Brexit UK plc.
“With the Summit taking place the same day as the Queen’s Speech, we look forward to hearing from the minister on the important measures the Government will take to generate investment, stimulate housebuilding and deliver the transport and social infrastructure needed to deliver sustainable growth across Britain.”