Master Plan conference is a sell-out event
Investors and developers descended on Southampton on March 16 for a major sell- out conference showcasing multi-billion pound opportunities in the city.
More than 400 delegates drawn from across the UK and including major names in retail, commercial and property development attended the event at St Mary’s Stadium.
More than 20,000 new jobs and £3 billion of new investment in the city are planned over the next 25 years as part of the new plans for Southampton city centre.
The Master Plan has a vision to create: • a re-mastered city centre • a new world-class waterfront
• a fresh approach to transport and sustainable travel
• a new business district
• the adoption of the best architectural practices and more.
Keynote speaker was international business entrepreneur, and chairman of Boux Avenue Lingerie and Ryman Stationery, Theo Paphitis, and he gave his full backing to the Plan.
“The Master Plan is all about generating investment, jobs and growth for the city of Southampton and that’s exactly what it will do.
“If a city doesn’t have a plan like this, there’s no question in my mind that it will suffer like the proverbial high street.
“It’s important you have investment in a city centre and you drive the people where you want them to be – if you don’t they will move away,“ he said.
Looking at Southampton’s potential to attract new businesses due to its location and vitality, Paphitis said the city had a lot to shout about.
“Southampton has so much going for it. It is
a vibrant place with a real mix of all sorts of people right across the spectrum.
“For me as a mass retailer, it is exactly what I am looking for.
Keynote speaker: Theo Paphitis
“I like WestQuay, I visit the Boat Show and I like to see the football team – it’s a nice place to be.
If maybe I moved a bit further south
this probably wouldn’t be a million miles away from my ideal place to live,“ he said.
Speakers included councillor Royston Smith from Southampton City Council, Andrew Hiorns, the lead consultant on the Southampton City Centre Master Plan project, Kelvin Campbell from Urban Initiatives and Andrew Carter from Centre for Cities.
Also speaking were Paul Walker from Salford City Council, professor Don Nutbeam from the University of Southampton and Stephen Boyce from Southampton Cultural Development Trust.
Councillor Royston Smith, leader of the council, said: “Southampton is transforming. We have plans to create 20,000 new jobs through more than £3b of investment opportunities until 2035. Plans for a re- mastered city centre, a new world-class waterfront, and a stunning new cultural
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quarter in the city are all happening and will only spur on more investment and opportunity.
“This has been a great chance for businesses to find out how Southampton can work for them now and in the future.“
The conference was organised by Business Solent in conjunction with Southampton City Council and Capita, and sponsored by Balfour Beatty, David Lock Associates, CBRE, Hays Recruitment, Ramboll UK, Southampton Football Club and the Southern Daily Echo.
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE – SOLENT & SOUTH CENTRAL – APRIL 2012
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