GM leaders Budget MIPIM

Boylan, far left, cued up the Oscars gag for his Budget commentary. Credit: PNW


ACADEMY REWARDS… A nice little Oscars-week joke from the ever-droll Eamonn Boylan, chief executive of GMCA, who welcomed the Budget news that GM has been invited to work with the government to identify suitable investment zones in the city region. This “ordered approach” was better than the “casino” style process sometimes used by government when they ask people to bid against each other for limited handouts, which Boylan reflected simply means “everyone bids for everything everywhere all at once”.

Champagne c Alexander Lesnitsky from Pixabay

Credit: Alexander Lesnitsky from Pixabay

DEVOLUTION DRINKS… The Budget news was not only met with joy in the Manchester Pavilion. Other cities were quick to honour the GM win on ‘deeper devo’, with the London stand even sending over several bottles of champagne as a congratulatory gift. The bubbles were the perfect way to end a bustling Wednesday at the stand, which attracted hundreds throughout the course of the event to come and learn about what Greater Manchester has to offer. GM’s MIPIM message went beyond just those in Cannes – the social media reach was 1.3m by the end of the conference.

ALPHA OFFICE… The cutest moment at MIPIM award goes to NOMA. The emerging Manchester estate, headed by MEPC, recruited a group of students from St James’ Primary School in Rusholme to share their thoughts on the office of the future in an adorable video that aired in the Manchester pavilion. Ideas ranged from robots that give encouraging words every two hours to a garden roof terrace that provides food for the café in the building. It was clear that the office of the future cannot be dull. As one kid put it: “If I worked in a plain, boring environment I would start to feel like there is nothing else in life but just typing.” #preach

Gary Neville MIPIM p.PNW

Credit: PNW

DERBY DAY… Speaking on the Manchester stand, Gary Neville regaled the audience with tales from his football career while also providing an update on St Michael’s, his Manchester city centre mixed-use scheme. Seemingly still smarting from the recent 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool, Manchester United legend Neville couldn’t resist a pop at the club’s arch-rival, Liverpool. “Have you seen their stand!?” he scoffed.

Rob Wiggans c pnw

Credit: PNW

LEFT LUGGAGE…  Rob Wiggans, investment manager at investment app Portfolio, had a less-than-ideal start to the week. While everyone else was collecting their luggage from the baggage claim at Nice Airport, he was left waiting until eventually there were no cases on the conveyor belt. Every year there is a handful of unfortunate people who arrive in the South of France to find their luggage did not. Normally, the cases arrive at some point during the week, but for Rob, Thursday rolled around with no sign of his missing belongings and no communication about where they might be. He didn’t let it affect his week though, choosing to look on the bright side and seize the opportunity to invest in a smart new wardrobe. Put it on expenses!

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