by Toby Fox Mon 24 June 2019, 11:47 am
"The Gatwick Diamond is entering our most significant period of growth for 20 years," said Gatwick Diamond Initiative executive director Rosemary French OBE.
She added OECD figures show the UK attracted more inward investment last year than any other economy, except China and the US, and commercial development in the region is set to soar.
French was speaking at the 10th annual Gatwick Diamond Economic Summit, at the Arora Hotel, in Crawley, last Thursday (20 June). The event gathered developers, investors, business leaders and local authorities to discuss growth opportunities in the region.
Supporting her view, Andrew Osborne, partner at property consultant Vail Williams, said that the availability of existing industrial space averaged about five per cent across the Gatwick area.
“That is just too low for a region, creating an imbalance of supply and demand,” he said, observing that land values in Manor Royal had leaped from £1m per acre in 2014 to £2.5m now.
Adam Godfrey, senior partner at property advisory firm SHW, added that it provided clear evidence or burgeoning demand for commercial space, especially industrial development and high quality new offices to cater for a “flight to quality.”
He said the region’s business parks could provide 4.9 million sq ft of new commercial space, creating 33,000 jobs. Since 2013 Godfrey said 3.5 million sq ft of the region’s employment space had been lost to Permitted Development (PD) conversion to residential, but annual take-up of commercial space was 1.7 million sq ft a year. “That 4.9 million sq ft provides three years supply only.”
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