Our man in Cannes says regional cities are no longer “also-rans” when compared to London

Iain Withers

Is this finally the year the UK regions wrest the limelight from London at Mipim? Certainly the UK’s other major cities are out in force, with Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, Cardiff and Glasgow all putting on packed events programmes. At a swanky breakfast event, Manchester city council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein summed up the mood: “There is a big buzz and investors and developers interested in the North-west can certainly feel that buzz.”

Other city leaders, including those from Birmingham city, Leeds and Sheffield city have taken to their respective stands to toast the boost the planned HS2 rail link is already having on development in the North.

Which is not to say London hasn’t attracted its usual large crowd as well. The beach-side stand was packed out for the unveiling of a giant model of the capital, showcasing some £100bn of projects. But the other cities no longer feel like also-rans – and besides, the Sheffield stand with its Yorkshire ales definitely has the best beers.

Iain Withers is Building’s news editor