OPINION: Ian Borley, of KPMG Leicester, on reasons to be upbeat about city's prospects
We're just over a month into the new year and there are already a number of signs this could be a significant one in delivering Leicestershire's on-going thirst for investment.
Being an attractive inward investment proposition is fundamental to the future prosperity of the city and wider region.
Bringing in investment is at the crux of any regional economy and with competition from not only other UK cities but also globally, we have to shout loud and we have to present a strong proposition.
In recent weeks, our offering has been bolstered significantly.
Indeed, just last week we saw the beginning of what could be a fantastic tourism opportunity for the city after experts confirmed that the bones found buried under a city car park are indeed that of Richard III.
There is no doubt the controversial stories that surround the life and death of Richard III are of interest to history lovers, monarchists and conspiracy theorists from all over the world, and as a result, many will want to visit the site where his remains were discovered.
Leicester has a real opportunity to showcase this important historical find and, in doing so, further reinforce our tourism offering.
When you add to this long awaited improvements finally beginning to progress, such as Network Rail's five-year investment plan to electrify the Midlands Mainline, together with significant new science parks getting underway both at Mira and the National Space Centre, and the market redevelopment, our offering just keeps getting better.
While we are receiving attention – such as the recent Queen's visit to start her Jubilee celebrations and Prince Edward's forthcoming opening of the new QE2 Sports Centre at De Montfort University – we must ensure we package our offering and present it with one unified voice.
MIPIM presents a great opportunity and it is fantastic news that the city and county has chosen to attend this year.
However, outside of this, we also need to think carefully about how we market ourselves. We need a strong, experienced and well resourced inward investment team charged with working to deliver for Leicester and Leicestershire. Without it, we might just miss our chance.
Ian Borley, pictured right, is senior partner at KPMG, in Leicester, and chairman of Leicestershire Business Voice.