Growth businesses must express their property needs

Growth businesses must express their property needs


This restriction on economic growth in our county is one of the key reasons behind the development of the A11 Growth Corridor, which is aiming to help realise Norfolk’s growth potential, particularly in the tech sector.

The Corridor is bringing together businesses and political leaders across private and public sectors to amplify the county’s and the region’s collective strengths in science, technology and strategic leadership.

While the initiative is certain to bring in investment from outside the region (particularly from overcrowded London and the southeast), it is envisaged that between 60-70pc of its potential already operates in Norfolk and East Anglia.

It aims to incentivise investors and developers to create new, high quality industrial developments to meet the pent-up demand which we know exists – although the exact extent of that demand is proving more difficult to quantify.

This is because many potential growth businesses are sitting passively watching the market rather than coming forward and loudly demanding that such development takes place.

Nick O’Leary, head of commercial agency at Arnolds KeysNick O’Leary, head of commercial agency at Arnolds Keys (Image: Arnolds Keys)

Investors and developers need to know for sure that if they develop speculatively, there will be occupiers for the premises they build. Which is why it is vital that those businesses that feel they are being held back from growth by the lack of supply in industrial property make a noise about it.

The A11 Corridor makes for an attractive place to do business for those operating in the tech sector. Not only are there already clusters of such businesses already in existence (including the advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses around Hethel and the agriscience businesses coalescing around the new Food Enterprise Park at Honingham), but there is also a pool of skilled labour available.

The upgraded A11 itself also offers access to markets elsewhere in the country and beyond.

The framework is in place to create a real economic powerhouse along the Corridor that will provide employment and prosperity for our county; employment land has been identified, and the political will is there to make it happen.

Excellent modern buildings are being brought to market (we are about to market an ultra-modern 9,000 sq ft office building in Attleborough, for example). But to trigger the investment in the necessary infrastructure requires those businesses that desperately need more and/or better space to be much more vocal in telling the world of their requirements.

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