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Centre for Cities, an independent think tank has produced a new report that suggest regions in the UK outside that of London need to step up their game and take more responsibility to rebalance ’the London-centric investment market’, this comes as the same report has figures that shows London accounts for 50% of all investment.

Centre for Cities compels cities across the North, Midlands and Wales to increase their efforts to attract private sector investment by taking steps ‘to strengthen their local economy by improving transport, skills and housing.’

The study was done in conjunction with Capita and it confirmed that over 50% of all investment in the UK’s commercial property sector last year (43 billion GBP) was spent in the capital.

The think tank has a point, as the second most successful region was the South East, who attracted only 5Bn GBP of investment, equivalent to just 11% of the total share across Britain.

The North East and Wales gained less than £1bn of commercial property investment each in 2016.

The report identifies five crucial factors that investors say they want when deciding which city to invest in.

  • A strong city economy with growth potential
  • Excellent transport connections
  • A pro-investment leadership
  • A strong focus and record on delivery
  • A distinctive reputation.

‘With the shock general election result and upcoming Brexit talks causing considerable uncertainty for the UK economy, the onus is on cities across the country to secure more of the investment needed to boost local and national economic growth in the coming years,’ said Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities.

‘Investors tell us that regional cities are an increasingly appealing prospect because of London’s high property prices – now these places need to take advantage by ensuring they are as attractive and open for investment as possible.

‘This means taking steps to strengthen their local economy by improving transport, skills and housing.

‘But it also means actively promoting the advantages they offer, building stronger relationships with investors, and intervening when necessary to ensure big investment projects get over the line.

‘By doing so, regional cities across Britain can play a big role in ensuring more investment is spread beyond London and the South East.’

Deborah McLaughlin, head of housing delivery and strategy, Capita Real Estate & Infrastructure, said: ‘Attracting capital investment is vital to local authorities.

‘Now more than ever, our local authority partners are working with us to develop their understanding of what motivates investors and developers, allowing councils to unlock value in their region to stimulate economic growth.

‘The report showcases a number of local authorities which are reaping the rewards of investment, enabling them to create prosperous and connected places.’

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