ASK THE EXPERT: The secret's well and truly out of the bag about the North of England

Rob Barker, property director at Potter Space, outlines some of the reasons southern companies are finding Yorkshire increasingly attractive.

We used to joke with those visiting Yorkshire from south of Watford to keep it quiet about how fantastic God’s own county was otherwise everyone would want to come here.

Well it’s no longer a secret, as Northern Powerhouse continues to gain momentum with a commitment to boost the local economy by investing in skills, innovation, transport and culture.

The Government’s pledge to devolve powers to the regions so they can make their own decisions and prioritise investment is coming to fruition, with West Yorkshire becoming the latest to benefit from a £1.8 billion budget allocation.

Furthermore, Boris’s election pledge to repay the trust of those Labour supporters who voted Tory, has resulted in an assurance to spend £80bn to ‘fuel an infrastructure blitz’ in the North.

This has led to some high profile moves out of London. Recently Channel 4 chose to have its headquarters in Leeds. Poking fun at itself, the latter put a huge banner outside its new HQ in the city centre which read: “Didn’t think Channel 4 knew there was life outside the M25.”

Furthermore, in the Budget, the chancellor announced that 22,000 civil servants are to be moved out of central London. And the Government is also seriously considering moving the House of Lords to York.

But it is not just high-profile businesses and departments moving North, many SMEs have also identified the benefits of relocating to Yorkshire.

Indeed, we have recently welcomed tile importer, European Heritage to Potter Space Ripon.

The company had been operating from a building in South West London for almost 15 years but, with the site earmarked for residential development, it hastened its decision to ‘up sticks’.

They weighed up all the options for a new warehouse operation and a move to Ripon was a clear winner for several reasons, not least the significant reduction in rental costs.

However, there are other benefits too. The business park is about a mile away from the A1M so it is perfectly placed to distribute its products to those regions that are experiencing tremendous growth in construction and property development due, in no small part, to the investment outlined above.

Expansion of the company is also restricted in London, where space is at a premium. In contrast, Potter Space can be more flexible, to accommodate the growth of the company, as the amount of stock it handles, and stores, continues to grow.

The relocation of European Heritage to Potter Space Ripon is certainly a feather in the cap for Yorkshire when a company, which has operated out of London for so long, recognises the advantages of being based up here. A move which will boost the local economy and create new jobs too.

Naturally, this is just one example. There will be very many more companies which have already made the move or are in the process of considering it. We are certainly receiving a growing number of enquiries from companies in the south, especially e-commerce companies, which have identified our strategic location enabling them to serve the whole of the UK.

And once they get here and witness first-hand the cost of living, the easier commute, the room to breathe and our extremely friendly disposition, they will wonder why they didn’t make the move sooner.

In the meantime, with our ongoing investment, strong and lasting customer relationships and strategically located business parks throughout the UK, we will be ready to welcome them to our business parks, which will provide the perfect home for business.

As seen in Yorkshire Business Insider  

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