It’s a Difficult But Not Impossible Year
31st May 2012
Last month we heard that the UK economy had entered a double dip recession after shrinking over three consecutive months since the start of the New Year. National news reports said a sharp fall in construction was one of the underlying factors, and the BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders painted a grey picture of an economy that was ‘bumping along the bottom”.
Hardly a relishing prospect for the year ahead; you’d have to have had your head stuck in the sand if you thought otherwise. There is no doubt that the road to recovery will shape the industry over the coming months. And although it is proving more difficult than we’ve known for many years, its not impossible.
Take the Moorgreen Industrial Estate, Eastwood for example. Our team at NG Chartered Surveyors has been marketing it since 2008, when it was first announced that the UK was in a recession. Maplebeck Holdings built speculative nursery units on the estate to attract SMEs. Called the Sycamore Pods, there are eight units offering 1,000 sq ft and the ninth being 1,500 sq ft.
NG has taken the occupancy on the estate to 96% in the midst of the hardest and deepest recessions the UK has ever seen. The majority of new deals have been signed by entrepreneurs setting up and expanding their businesses. This is boosting talent – and creating local jobs in the long run.
A similar picture has been seen at the Amber Business Centre, near Alfreton. The estate offers a wide range of units and requirements from 600 sq ft up to 50,000 sq ft can all be accommodated on site. But as was the case at Moorgreen, demand has been strong for the units at the smaller end of the size range and 2011 alone brought 13 new occupiers to the site.
So despite all the negative news, it is encouraging to see the market making positive moves from the SME end. Companies with a good track record are now able to secure bank funding which bodes well for our remaining units at Moorgreen, Amber Business Centre and for the market and the economy as a whole.