Civic and business leaders in the county said Cheshire should not be worried about its post-Brexit economic prospects.
Chester Growth Partnership chair Guy Butler said Cheshire has nothing to fear as its baseline economy is the food industry and energy sectors – both of which he believes are “resilient to change”.
Guy, a director of property development firm Glenbrook, continued: “There are also centres across the region like Chester which are much more international than European.
“The University of Chester certainly falls into that category and the region as a whole does very well out of UK tourism.”
Tom Anwyl, a director of housebuilding company Anwyl Homes, joined Guy in the discussion and explained how there was not likely to be an impact from Brexit on housing sales or demand in the area.
He said: “Brexit probably is a big issue if you are based in a financial capital like London but here it’s not top of the list. Our concerns are much more around improving rail and road connectivity.
“We know there is a lot of focus on HS2, but across the region people are more interested in improving links to Liverpool and Manchester.“
DTM Legal partner and chair of the Chester Growth Partnership’s infrastructure group, Sally Pilott, agreed, adding: “Cheshire as a whole voted to leave the EU so, whatever you think of the outcome of the referendum you can’t really argue that there’s going to be a sudden loss of consumer confidence.
“Being at a major international event like MIPIM only underlines the importance of transport links. It’s fundamental whether you are in Cheshire or China. There’s a great deal of work going into the Growth Track 360 campaign where we are lobbying the Government for investment.
“We are trying to secure £1bn of rail improvements which would deliver 70,000 new jobs over 20 years for the North Wales and Cheshire regional economy. The campaign is being led by a cross-border alliance of business, political and public sector leaders. We are calling for the electrification of the line from Crewe to North Wales so the region can be linked to HS2 and fast London trains can continue to Bangor and Holyhead.”
Henry Brooks, executive director of the Tatton Estate and founder of TEM Property said: “The strength of Cheshire’s economy with global brands, highly skilled workforce, the busiest airport outside the south of the UK and tens of billions of investment means we are uniquely well placed to grow throughout all weather. At the Tatton Estate we have been launching several multi-million investments here at MIPIM showing our confidence in our fantastic part of the Northern Powerhouse.”
DTM Legal are supporting the Cheshire delegation this week at MIPIM showcasing the region on a global stage to institutional investors, funders and potential occupiers across a number of events and presentations.