Around 170 leading property professionals turned up to the first Movers & Shakers breakfast of the year in Bristol, not just to hear the keynote speech by city mayor George Ferguson but also the panel discussions by some of the city’s leading developers and investors.


George was on form and in his 10 minute address he certainly convinced the room that he was very much up for a second term as mayor and had a great deal more to offer the city; he was passionate and very impressive. He was on his way to a western ‘alliance’ meeting which is key for Bristol and the surrounding councils to sort out the continuing devolution debate and to align around key areas such as Infrastructure, social mobility and housing. There was a vote undertaken after George had left and well over 50% of the room supported him for a second term with only one vote against

The debate continued after breakfast with James Drurie, director of Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Andreas Lindelof, MD of Skanska Developments, Harry Badham UK director at AXA Real Estate Investments and Peter Steer, director at Generator South West, and chaired by Property Week’s David Parsley.

Phil Laycock of Movers & Shakers summed up at the end of the hour’s debate:

  • The panel warned of the ‘macro-economic headwind’ facing the UK in 2016 with the global economy being outside of our control; it could be a bumpy ride in 2016.
  • Bristol is the lost ‘liveable’ city in the UK - the combination of a successful economy and being simply a beautiful part of the world
  • Devolution is proving to be tough to achieve and there is much talking to be done before all parties are aligned
  • Generator South West are actively looking for development sites in the south west; it’s always good to hear a developer say this
  • When the new developments around Temple Meads station are finished it will provide a much welcome first impression to the city; it’s not great now
  • The EU debate is set for 2016 and after some debate there was a unanimous audience vote in favour of staying in
  • The final point discussed was whether he have yet reached the top of the market. It seems that we may be close!

The next Bristol event is on 20 May with L&G Property, the head of inward Investment for Bristol & Bath and Cardiff City Council - with others to be agreed.