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Quality office space closer to town centres will improve footfall in Worcestershire’s high streets

May 2022

Earlier this week, the Queen’s Speech revealed Government plans to unlock new powers for local authorities to hold rental auctions of vacant commercial properties in town centres and high streets. 

But is this the right way to address the issue of empty properties in Worcestershire’s high streets? 

The RICS has described the government’s proposals as ‘too blunt a tool’ and suggested that ‘any interventions which do not fully reflect the community could end up stymieing the evolution of the high street’ and this is a view that is supported by Andrew Lewis, GJS Dillon’s Commercial Agency Director. 

‘As our Worcestershire Commercial Property Market Report reflects, each of the six-sub markets we cover – Worcester, Wyre Forest, Wychavon, Malvern Hills, Redditch and Bromsgrove – is subject to different factors’ says Andrew ‘These include location, access to transport networks and headline rents. So a ‘one size fits all’ approach to rejuvenating the high street is not the answer’ 

In the case of Worcester, Andrew believes that newer office schemes are needed to meet the requirement for businesses to be back in the city following the pandemic. Ultimately, this will benefit the high street as well. 

‘As the spread of our office market transactions in 2021 indicates, office occupiers want to be back in Worcester city centre’ continues Andrew ’Employers are looking to create a working environment for their employees that offers a different experience to the home office’ 

‘The Worcestershire commercial property market has always been resilient’ concludes Andrew ‘Quality of space and location are top of the shopping list for occupiers. Rather than auctioning empty shops, what is needed is office schemes that fulfil those requirements, and that way footfall and expenditure in the high street would increase substantially’

Ends

For further details on commercial property available in Worcestershire please contact GJS Dillon’s Agency team on 01905 676169 or via andrewlewis@gjsdillon.co.uk

GJS Dillon’s Worcestershire Commercial Property Market Report can be found here https://www.gjsdillon.co.uk/marketreport/

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