Property round table calls for regional cohesion
When commercial law firm Square One Law hosted Insider’s latest North East Property round table earlier this month the over-riding message was that there must be a single voice for the region if it to be successful in attracting investment.
The event, held at Square One Law’s offices in Jesmond, brought together a selection of the region’s top property professionals to debate property-related issues pertinent to the North East such as infrastructure, development finance and broadband connectivity.
Participants agreed that demand for commercial property is increasing but much more needs to be done to get speculative developments up and running. With local planning regulations being relaxed by the government, more schemes are coming to fruition but there is still an imbalance between supply and demand.
Gavin Black, senior partner of Gavin Black & Partners, a niche surveying practice, said: “The North East is a jigsaw and all the pieces need to fit together for it to work. It’s vitally important that local authorities work together but it’s also important for the private sector to be at the table too.”
This sentiment was echoed by Fergus Trim, development director of the Quorum business park. He said: “The North East has a good record in attracting investment from abroad but if we stop sending the message that the region is a good place in which to invest, the risk is we’ll miss out and we simply can’t afford for that to happen.”
Square One Law’s property partner Simon Priestley said: “There’s a debate going on about what the strengths of the region are and how we market ourselves. As a region, we need to play to our strengths for the benefit of all sectors. We need to be sending a consistent message about why the North East is the place in which to invest.”