Plea to the Chancellor to stimulate growth in our region
Wed 02 Nov 2022
We need the Government to bring calm and confidence to the Commercial property sector which does not prosper amid volatility in the market.
Even where there is still a desire to proceed in an investment, purchase or lease, if you can no longer obtain the funding or afford the rates offered, it is easier to sit on your hands and do nothing.
We need an environment that offers stability to investors and occupiers as spiralling interest rates and costs of mortgage finance have the potential to derail transactional activity."
Looking at the Investment Zones, which many in the Commercial sector have discussed recently – it’s worth pointing out these now do not look like they will even go ahead.
They were actually a great idea as long as they had real ‘teeth.’ From my experience of dealing with earlier generation ‘Enterprise Zones’ in the East Midlands, offering business rates exemption and 100% capital allowances made a real difference and was an incentive for companies to relocate. This stimulated activity that may not have gone ahead without such incentives.
Without ‘teeth,’ they are little more than Enterprise Zones in name only.
Linking this with the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor would be a further incentive and provide strong links to shared expertise at the likes of Norwich Research Park, (NRP), Hethel Innovation and the Food Enterprise Park (FEP.)
Making these connections is so important. A good example is the UEA's Food and Drink Cluster which brings together the agri-food research at the NRP with Norfolk’s food and drinks sector. This comes in addition to the support available that Hethel Innovation is delivering at Broadland District Council’s Food Innovation Centre.
Also, streamlining the planning system to make it quicker and easier to get consent will be a huge help as the cost, time and uncertainty that can creep into the current system creates an unavoidable barrier to new development.
The Local Development Order status on the first phase of the 100-acre FEP is a brilliant example of providing a fast-track route to stimulate occupier activity. More of the same would be welcome.
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