Recently in Nottingham Category
Recent research published by the Local Data Company suggests that the East Midlands' capital has a retail vacancy rate of over 30% Here local agent Ben Tebbutt, director at FHP (formerly known as Fisher Hargreaves Procter) in Nottingham suggests headline figures may not give the whole story...
Talking about retail in Nottingham is getting like Groundhog Day.
Recession-hungry national media lap up a Local Data Company survey suggesting a third of shops in the city are empty.
Not for the first time, we point out it's based on an old map including distant corners of the city people don't shop in.
So what's the real picture? There are two, actually, and neither of them add up to the economic disaster movie LDC's statistics suggest.
At FHP we've been doing our own Retail Report for more than 15 years. Our surveyors walk the streets and check the reality against the records. Last year, we recorded an A1, A2 and A3 vacancy rate in the trading area of the city centre of 11.88%.
Our next Retail Report comes out later this month and we know already what the latest overall vacancy rate is. In the year when, according to LDC, all hell broke loose on the high street, it dropped to 11.67%. And in the last few weeks, Patisserie Valerie moved into one of Nottingham's most iconic locations, Hugo Boss announced a £1m spend on a new store, Cath Kidston opened, and Urban Outfitters, tReds, Thomas Sabo, Dr Martens, JoJo Maman Bebe and Foot Asylum are all on the way.
No disaster there, then...
One thing LDC may have been unaware of when looking at Nottingham, is something that
demonstrates the limits of statistics and the power of market knowledge. In the coming years, more than £900m is going to be invested in the local economy. Projects include a £600m expansion of the tram network; £150m dualling of the the A453, Nottingham's southern link with the M1; £60m developing a transport interchange. And another £60m developing a creative quarter around Eastside, the Lace Market and Hockley under the terms of the government's City Deal.
These are not CGi pipe dreams - they are signed-off projects with funding in place. This in a city economy which already has the fifth highest retail spend outside London.
Sure, we're all anxiously waiting to find out what will happen to Broadmarsh and the Victoria Centre, but I have a feeling we will not have to wait long.
But this is the real backdrop against which CSC will be investing - not the empty shops myth.
Do you agree with Ben? Click below to leave your comments...
For more up to the minute information on the East Midlands, read this Saturday's East Midlands Focus (13/10/2012).
As the long, hot (ahem..) days of summer slowly draw to a close, Estates Gazette is thinking ahead to the autumn by shining a spotlight on the East Midlands market. On October 13th, EG will publish the latest news and views from the region. If you would like to get involved and take part in the Focus, please contact the relevant writer below for more information.
Published October 13, 2012
Analysis of the market
Mark Faithfull, freelance writer, 0560 286 0859, Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org
A detailed look at the strength of the market and its prospects.
David Thame, freelance writer, 01544 262 896, email@example.com
Analysis of the sector
David Thame, freelance writer, 01544 262 896
Market Health Check
Please send up to date statistics for the offices, retail and industrial market to Stacey Meadwell, regional editor, 020 7911 1819, Stacey.firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact the writers directly for more details about their individual features by
Thursday 13th September
Writers deadlines are staggered in the week commencing 17th September
For general information about the Midlands' focus features and the Midlands Property Blog contact Lisa Pilkington, Midlands' editor, Lisa.email@example.com
More mature (ahem) readers of my blog may remember the Jimmy Saville TV ad for British Rail from the early 1980's cheerfully imploring the nation to use the train more at a time when car ownership was rocketing. Well today's government announcement of a multi-billion spending package on rail transport contains some welcome news for the Midlands that will undoubtedly help boost all of the region's property markets.
Top of the list is the £800m of new funding to electrify and improve the Midland Main Line between London, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield. While Birmingham has been in the transport limelight for some time (New Street station redevelopment, HS2), this announcement pushes East Midlands centres to the fore.
On my regular visits to East Midlands' cities I've lost count of the number of times property folk have told me how upgrading the existing rail links would significantly improve the case for attracting inward investors and retaining key occupiers - so I'm expecting there to be many pleased faces out there today. The prospect of new or refurbished trains is also potentially good news for Derby, home of the former British Rail works, now owned by Canadian trainbuilder Bombardier.
Particularly heartening for shed-heads is that Midland Main Line improvements aren't just focused on passengers. They are part of a new plan to create an 'Electric Spine', a rail freight corridor linking the East and West Midlands with the South Coast. And that could well bring benefits for logistics developments.
Of course we're still waiting for the fine print - apart from the electrification itself, what other improvements will be made to speed up journey times, and when will all of this happen?
Improving the trains won't solve fundamental property market issues, but in the middle of a double-dip recession it can surely only be a good thing?
Picture via Flickr.com by by Train Chartering & Private Rail Cars