Worcester Sports Arena Opens its Doors to the public

There are just a few days left to sign up for a special tour of the new Worcester Sports Arena site on Hylton Road, Worcester, which will open up its doors to the public next week.

Willmott Dixon, which is constructing the £15m state-of-the-art facility, is participating in Open Doors Weekend, a pilot project from the construction industry, which gives members of the public from all across the UK the opportunity to go on a tour of a construction site in their area.

Worcester Sports Arena will be open on 9th and 10th of November for the public to take a tour of the site to learn more about the project, its development and the world of construction. But places are limited so anyone interested must register online prior to the event to avoid missing out. Continue reading

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Warwick Bar hosts funding seminar for creative businesses

Warwick Bar, the canalside regeneration project in Digbeth, is holding an event for cash-strapped creatives and small-medium enterprises seeking funding for business growth.

The scheme, which comprises 80,000 sq ft of business space, and is owned by ISIS Waterside Regeneration, is gaining a reputation as a growing arts and cultural destination.

Its tenant include a wide range of creative businesses, including Grand Union Artists Studios and Gallery Space, print company Printbots, picture framers Harris Moore Canvases, K4 Architects, Edible Eastside (urban growing with arts programme and pop up café).

On 25 October the developer will be hosting a workshop on funding sources. Continue reading

Rating revaluation delay is a “scandal”

The Government’s plans to delay the 2015 business rates revaluation is insulting the intelligence of the business community, according to a Birmingham rating expert.

John Webber, head of rating at Colliers International, said cancelling the revaluation, whereby business rates would have been based on values at 2013, is nothing short of a scandal.

Continue reading

Continued take-up compounds lack of supply in the industrial property market

The Midlands shed market put in a good performance during the third quarter of the year with take-up 15 per cent up on the same period in 2011.

According to the latest statistics from CBRE, from July to September take-up of large industrial units (over 100,000 sq ft) totalled 530,000 sq ft across the East and West Midlands – a 15 per cent increase on the Q3 2011 total.

In the year to date, however, take-up was almost half (41 per cent) behind last year’s year to date total, at 2.69m sq ft and 4.6m sq ft respectively.

Nationally, take-up at the end of the third quarter totalled 2.64m sq ft, virtually the same as in Q3 2011. Half of this space was taken-up by the retail sector, which continues to dominate the market due to demand for larger units. The third party logistics sector was the second most active sector, accounting for 20 per cent of take-up. Continue reading

Survey: Lack of finance, skills and housing are main barriers to growth

Financial constraints and a lack of available housing are two of the biggest barriers to local economic development, according to a survey of councillors across England and Wales.

With the Conservatives preparing to gather in Birmingham for their annual conference, the survey, carried out by ComRes on behalf of construction company Willmott Dixon, found that a quarter of councillors believe that financial constraints, such as a lack of funding and budget cuts, is the single largest barrier to growth, closely followed by a shortage of housing (18 per cent).

The survey also identified the key challenges around local inward investment, with poor skills and transport links cited as the main areas for concern. Nearly half (46 per cent) of councillors point to low levels of skills in the local workforce as the main barrier for inward investment, with 41 per cent also highlighting concerns over transport links – a key area under review by the Government as it looks at ways to kick-start the economy. Continue reading

New pension laws could be a ‘game changer’ for property sector

The property industry could get a welcome injection of new capital thanks to changes to British pension laws introduced this week.

From 1 October, staff at the UK’s biggest firms will automatically be enrolled in a workplace pension, which both they and their employer will pay into. The move is designed to supplement the state pension and stem the decline in workers’ pension provision. Continue reading

Landlords hit by travelodge downsizing

Midlands’ landlords have been hit with a wake-up call following Travelodge’s Corporate Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

The budget hotel operator is seeking to offload more than a dozen of its hotels in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Travelodge, currently the largest hotel brand in Birmingham, is aiming to transfer the leases to other operators as part of a CVA and a financial overhaul designed to address its £700million debt pile. Continue reading