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‘Wonderful but no surprise’: Business leaders welcome UK Powerhouse report

BUSINESS leaders in Milton Keynes have welcomed the findings of the UK Powerhouse report.

The city is well placed to take advantage of shifting demand in the commercial property market as organisations based in the UK’s big cities look to downsize their office space or move out of their current premises.

The strong presence of technology firms based in Milton Keynes will help it to adapt to the changing post-Covid environment, says Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership chair Nicholas Mann.

“The news that Milton Keynes is expected to lead the country’s economic fightback is wonderful but no surprise,” Mr Mann said. “The city benefits greatly from its geographical position, being in the centre of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

“This, coupled with our strong transport links to London and Birmingham, our efficient grid system and amazing green spaces, make Milton Keynes the natural location for overspill from these cities that often have higher costs for commercial space.”

The UK Powerhouse report prepared by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economic and Business Research predicts Milton Keynes to be in the top ten cities for economic growth, with a GVA of 26.1% year-on-year increase in the second quarter of 2021 – 3% above the national average.

“As businesses learn to adapt to the new work methods increased remote working, there will be a natural shift as firms take a step downwards on the property ladder,” Mr Mann said.

“Milton Keynes offers great scope to organisations relocating therefore we must continue to market our city as the ideal location for business.”

The city’s low carbon footprint is a model for sustainable living, he added, something which will resonate with many organisations. Its business population will be ready for whatever the “new normal” brings.

Mr Mann also praised businesses for their support of the beleaguered hospitality sector. “It is also important to note that it is not all good news. Our city relies heavily on the hospitality sector and clearly there is a lot of pain being suffered here.

“I hope sincerely that our collective sense of community will aid our recovery and give thanks that throughout the pandemic the business community has continued to network and pulled together to aid those in need.

“The entrepreneurial spirit upon which our city was founded and that continues to underpin our business community will hold us in good stead for the future.

“And our strength in the technical-based economy, coupled with our willingness to embrace technology and adopt it into our everyday lives – the Starship robots being the perfect case in point – will also enable us to adapt to the changing environment.

“Being able to evolve with change is rooted in our culture.” 

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