MIPIM UK 2018 Day 1 Highlights

As delegates gather for the Opening Cocktail, with a glass in hand and business cards at the ready, here are some of the highlights of the first day at MIPIM UK 2018.

Breaking down barriers

In our fast-changing world, where not to change is to fall behind, what better way to open MIPIM UK 2018 than with a keynote speech on ‘Breaking Down the Barriers’ by Graham Stuart MP, Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade.

Mr Stuart chose his keynote speech at MIPIM UK to announce the launch by the UK government of £2bn of investment opportunities in seven projects across the country.

The seven opportunities include: a 12,500-seat stadium in Gateshead, a stem-cell research centre in Edinburgh, new office space for Belfast’s creative sector and up to 2,500 new homes as part of the Festival Park development on Liverpool’s waterfront.

The UK’s changing place in the world

Being a game-changer is all about challenging existing ways of thinking and of doing things. So what better follow-up to Mr Stuart than Sir Vince Cable MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Sir Vince saw the two big issues facing the UK property industry as being the future of interest rates and the spectre of Brexit.

With regards to the hot topic of housing, he said that it was not an issue of the number of houses being built, but one of affordability… opening the way for tomorrow morning’s MIPIM UK session on ‘Affordability: Are political differences stifling house building?’

2018, A Space Odyssey – the new frontier

Fifty years after the release of Stanley Kubrik’s classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey, Virgin Galactic is shaping the future by pioneering the next generation of space vehicles.

Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director of Virgin Galactic, took the MIPIM UK audience in his keynote speech on a voyage to discover the inside track on Virgin Galactic’s take-off.

As MIPIM Director Ronan Vaspart said in his introduction to Mr Attenborough, it was important to look outside the property industry for inspiration on how to be a game-changer.

Virgin Galactic is set to be the first commercial operator to take people into space. Its purpose is: “Together we open space to change the world for good.”

Health check on the UK property sector

Bringing the topic firmly back to real estate, Melanie Leech, CEO of the British Property Foundation, was in conversation with broadcaster, columnist and business expert James Max as to where the property sector was at in the UK.

“The key policy issue is clearly Brexit and the outcome that the negotiations will have on investors operating in the office space,” Ms Leech said, on the day that the EU leaders were sitting down in Brussels to discuss Brexit.

Ms Leech emphasised the importance of real estate to the UK economy, both in terms of revenue generated and on wider issues:


A day full of inspiration, networking & business

MIPIM UK held over 30 conference sessions on the first day of the show. Other topics discussed included regeneration, development, finance and investment, as well as retail, logistics and technology. All the sessions were packed.

Technology topics included autonomous vehicles and magnetic levitation (in keeping with the Space Odyssey theme), as well as the effects of big data and artificial intelligence on the property sector, and whether blockchain was friend or foe.

Game-changing lifestyle & hospitality concepts


Another star of the day was the hotel & tourism sector. Operating profits in hotels in the UK have been growing by an average 3% per annum, according to a white paper launched by STR and PKF hotelexperts at MIPIM UK 2018.

This growth has opened the gate for a blossoming of real estate investment in hospitality, as investors look to diversify their asset portfolios.

Game-changing concepts in the hospitality sector included: the private club/hotel, the ‘bleisure’ hotel, aparthotels, student accommodation, micro-living/co-living and hostels.

See you tomorrow!
We hope Day 1 of MIPIM UK 2018 inspired you to become a game changer in the property sector here on Earth – and in space… Stephen Attenborough of Virgin Galactic pointed out the need for orbital space hotels!

We look forward to welcoming you tomorrow. Have a good evening!

About Author

Georgina Power

Georgina Power is a freelance Communications Consultant and Editor. Her previous positions include: Head of Corporate Communications at McArthurGlen Group, European PR Manager at Cushman & Wakefield and a freelance journalist for EuroProperty.

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