12:56PM, Wednesday 06 March 2019
A lavish international property show in the French Riviera will be attended by members of Slough Borough Council next week.
MIPIM, one of the world’s leading property and development conferences and markets, is being held in Cannes from Tuesday, March 12 to Friday, March 15.
International players from the office, residential, healthcare, sport, logistics and industrial sectors come to the glamorous event every year to network.
Slough Borough Council came under fire in 2017 for attending the event at the expense of council taxpayers.
The council subsequently secured funding from external business sponsors for the 2018.
SBC leader Cllr James Swindlehurst (Lab, Cippenham Green) responded to criticism of a ‘blind arrangement’, which meant the sponsor was not initially disclosed to himself or the public.
He argued this meant he could not be accused of being ‘in the pocket’ of a particular sponsor.
It later transpired that the trip was funded by publisher 3Fox International, which produced a brochure promoting investment in Slough.
Slough Urban Renewal, a 50/50 development partnership between SBC and Morgan Sindall, paid for advertising in the brochure.
SBC had no record of how much the trip cost 3Fox International, prompting further criticism from opposition councillors from the Slough Conservative Group.
This year’s trip is being paid for by sponsorship from AEW Slough Central, U+I Future Works and Slough Urban Renewal.
SBC’s service lead for economic development, Shabnam Ali and the service lead for major projects and infrastructure, Savio DeCruz will be attending for the duration of the event.
Cabinet member for housing and corporate finance Cllr Mohammed Nazir (Lab, Baylis and Stoke) will attend for part of the event.
For the first time, SBC will have a stand in the conference’s London Pavilion, to promote the borough to global investors and property professionals.
The council hopes to attract partners to support the building of new homes, workspaces, schools, leisure and community facilities.
Cllr Nazir said: “Slough means business and MIPIM is the place where, internationally, the big players come together and major deals are begun.
“Slough has too much going on and too many investment and development opportunities for us not to take part in MIPIM.
“As a council, we rely on our amazing inward investment opportunities to help fund our ambitious plans including for our front line services and MIPIM is the place to be to ensure investment continues.”
He said Slough Urban Renewal bringing the council £4m worth of income this financial year has helped prevent the need to cut any frontline services.
He added: “We have a vision of growing a place of opportunity and ambition for our residents, for our businesses, for our industries; we will be working hard to attract further inward investment at MIPIM, to bring that vision for Slough even closer to reality.”
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