Council Cannes trip to France

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An annual trip to the South of France to drum up external business and make contacts will not take place next year, as Luton Borough Council focuses on ‘inward investment’ for the town.

For the past eight years, a team from the council led by head of service and corporate director Colin Chick have visited Cannes for an event with international businesses and other councils.

The trips were funded by sponsors including Explore Investment who were involved in Napier Park, Ballymore who were involved in the Power Court project, and Luton Gateway, which is a now defunct quango that was partly funded by Luton taxpayers.

A council spokesperson said: “Over the last few years the council has had many positive discussions at these events which has been one of many contributing factors to the hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of private sector investment the team has secured for regeneration projects which are transforming the town, its infrastructure and its economy.

“The events are also about continuing to raise the profile of Luton in an international arena alongside cities such as Manchester, London and Birmingham.”

A council spokesman said annually the council makes more than 100 contacts and meets businesses at these events, and deals have been negotiated and signed while there. They were unable to name any of the deals that were negotiated or signed at the event, MIPIM.

The event was described as a “great showcase for Luton” which allowed “promotion of key opportunities such as the new casino licence” to property advisors and investors from the UK and Europe.

They said: “The council has always promoted the development investment in Luton alongside activity to promote Luton as a location for business investment. It is the inward investment that will have a renewed focus during 2012 and so MIPIM does not fit our key promotional objectives this year.”