On the forthcoming West Midlands Mayoral Election, Jon Cookson, head of Birmingham office at global real estate advisor, Colliers International, comments:

“Whoever secures the coveted role of Mayor for the West Midlands has the opportunity to finally ignite the Midlands Engine. It's of crucial importance that they prioritise fostering a partnership of public and private stakeholders from across the region, so as to formulate and push forward a coherent regional development strategy. 

"It is evident to anyone who walks around Birmingham that the city is enjoying a lot of commercial real estate and development activity, but there is so much more that can be done. The foundations for a successful city are in place; a growing population, new and improved infrastructure, growing employment and investor interest piquing.

"What we need next is a strong leader that is able to keep pace with these changes and promote our region on a local and international platform; someone who can build a strong and truly international region.”