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Economy picking up?

posted 22 Sep 2014, 07:57 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 22 Sep 2014, 07:57 ]
In our last post, Andrew Nettleton highlighted the new developments on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham that Rotherham MBC have funded, in order to continue to provide necessary commercial premises for companies locating in the borough. In this post, Paul Woodcock, Director of Planning, Regeneration & Culture at Rotherham MBC discusses his perceptions of the local property market and economy.

It appears that most observers are talking about an upturn in the economy, with some evidence to back this up – ranging from Govt. unemployment figures to an upturn in the building trade 
(source: my friends from the local pub!).

If history tells us anything then this will start to show in the commercial property market, with an increase in demand for property which then leads to a potential shortage of premises.  The key for me, in previous ‘boom’ times has been the availability of premises (in the main speculative build or empty space) which businesses can look around and hopefully compare and ultimately select their preferred office, factory or unit – just like buying or renting a house or car. This is a key route to economic growth & especially job growth.

During the last growth cycle (1998-08) only three out of the nine Sheffield City Region areas had net private sector job growth, the rest lost private sector jobs – with nearby Sheffield (-5,517 jobs) and Barnsley (-6,563 jobs). Rotherham topped the table with a net increase of 8,319 private sector jobs. (source:SCR IER 2013)

My take on this is the fact that Rotherham had (and still has) a good supply of commercial premises – at the right price, right location and a selection of sizes. We are keen to ensure this continues – as evidenced by RiDO’s direct involvement in the R-Evolution buildings being built at the AMP and our recently approved planning core strategy.

If you are in the market for new premises for your business then get in touch with the RiDO team.

Let’s hope the economy continues to pick up.


About the author: Paul Woodcock is Director of Planning, Regeneration & Culture at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, with responsibility for Economic & Development Services, Libraries, Museums and Customer Service.