Leicester City Council has appointed us to carry out a major study aimed at increasing the amount of prime office space in the city.
The study will examine commercial office space in Leicester, analysing stock and rent levels, determining levels of future demand and identifying sites for office development.
Lack of grade A space a barrier to investment
Jane Taylor, Director in our Leicester office who is leading the project, said: “The city’s commercial area has a shortage of grade A office space and in recent years the city centre has lost financial and professional services occupiers to business parks on the outskirts of Leicester. Current economic conditions and a lack of investment finance have restricted the development of speculative office development, and Leicester, like most cities, has seen only a limited amount of new grade A office space developed.”
City Council to engage with developers, investors and occupiers
Our work will involve information gathering and analysis to provide an evidence base which will assist the City Council engage with developers, investors and potential occupiers, review current policy and identify potential office development sites for assessment through a site allocation planning process. The culmination of the project will be the production of a detailed Commercial Office Market Review for 2012.
Essential research will invigorate Leicester’s commercial office market
Jane adds: “This is an essential piece of work to help invigorate the commercial office market in the city. The study will provide an evidence base to enable a review of planning policy in respect of office development. It will also assess future demand and provision, providing an important source of information for the property market and investors, and help to promote the city as a commercial centre.”
Jane Taylor will be supported by our planning expert Steve Hemming, Ian Leather and Jenny Clarke, with Warwick Business Management Ltd and PACEC – Public and Corporate Economic Consultants.
Leicester Office Forum to plan for the future
The City Council also plans to establish a Leicester Office Forum modelled on similar bodies in Birmingham and Nottingham. This would bring together property agents to input information to the study, and, supported by the Leicester and Leicestershire Economic Partnership, plan office strategies for the future.