No land used for jobs in Worcester in the past year

No land used for jobs in Worcester in the past year

No land used for jobs in Worcester in the past year

First published in News by

CONCERNS have been raised businesses are not investing in Worcester after it was revealed none of the land in the city available for employment use had been developed in the past year.

A report presented at a meeting of Worcester City Council’s planning committee showed, although there are 23 hectares of land in the city available for employment use, none of it was taken up between April 2013 and March this year.

The council’s economic development and planning policy manager David Blake described the figures as “a very disappointing outcome”.

“(This) does not help the city in reaching our aspirations,” he said.

He added he was concerned 50.11 hectares of employment land in the city had been lost to alternative development such as housing since 1996.

“This is something that has been taking place for perhaps the last 10 years,” he said.

“It’s not something that’s suddenly happened over the last 12 months – it’s a longterm issue for the city.”

Cllr Paul Denham described the figures as “a real concern”.

“Is it that Worcester is not as attractive for investment as other places up and down the M5 corridor?” he said.

“Are we not marketing it adequately?

“It seems rather futile to continue to market this land if it’s not going to be taken up.”

But after the meeting, Worcester MP Robin Walker said he was surprised by the revelation.

“Businesses I speak to often talk about the lack of available employment land,” he said.

“There is quite a lot going on in Worcester and the idea there is not enough employment land is quite worrying.

“It may be an illustration that the employment land needs to be made more attractive.

“It is something the council would be right to be concerned about, but there are some quite exciting opportunities such as the old Russell and Dorrell building, which is being opened as a new skills centre next month.”

Although a large warehouse and office development is currently under construction in Wainwright Road, this was not included in this year’s figures and instead will affect next year’s report.

Members at Thursday’s meeting agreed to look into ways to encourage investment in the city.

No one from the Hereford and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce was available for comment as the Worcester News went to press.

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:10pm Mon 25 Aug 14

brooksider says...

Hardly surprising, there are miles of industrial and office space empty around Worcester.
Paul Denham is right, Worcester is not marketed correctly.
Unfortunately both the City and County Councils have directed their energy on the University instead attracting real wealth creators.
Hardly surprising, there are miles of industrial and office space empty around Worcester. Paul Denham is right, Worcester is not marketed correctly. Unfortunately both the City and County Councils have directed their energy on the University instead attracting real wealth creators. brooksider
  • Score: 8

10:09pm Mon 25 Aug 14

3thinker says...

Its hardly surprising.

The banks and financial institutions have starved small business of cash to build their own new premises.

Most developers are only interested in building 'institutionally attractive' sheds for letting to national chains and multinationals with 'good covenants' so the completed development can be flogged off to a pension fund or other such institutional fund.

The result is there is a very limited supply of developable land for locally grown businesses and even if it is available its not offered as serviced freehold plots on which such businesses can tender for a local company to build them premises to meet their specific needs.

I'm sure the Chamber are correct in pointing out the paradox that there is indeed potential demand, but the financial markets and developers won't be offering a supply ( and certainly not of speculatively built freehold units) that meets local aspirations.

Yet anther example of why the county is long overdue a rebalancing of how the economy works if we are to swing the balance back to supporting enterprise rather than capitalism.

Even with limited and declining budgets I'm sure the City and County Councils and LEP could be doing so much more to use their resources, landholdings and planning powers to better provide a supply of land and premises that better meet and foster local indigenous business growth rather than waste money on futile marketing campaigns in attempts to attract the few footloose companies who may find the area attractive and will no doubt demand large grants and other support that would be better utilised in supporting those local businesses with expansion and employment growth potential.

Another area in which our political masters lack the vision that's needed to plan effectively for Worcester and the County's future.
Its hardly surprising. The banks and financial institutions have starved small business of cash to build their own new premises. Most developers are only interested in building 'institutionally attractive' sheds for letting to national chains and multinationals with 'good covenants' so the completed development can be flogged off to a pension fund or other such institutional fund. The result is there is a very limited supply of developable land for locally grown businesses and even if it is available its not offered as serviced freehold plots on which such businesses can tender for a local company to build them premises to meet their specific needs. I'm sure the Chamber are correct in pointing out the paradox that there is indeed potential demand, but the financial markets and developers won't be offering a supply ( and certainly not of speculatively built freehold units) that meets local aspirations. Yet anther example of why the county is long overdue a rebalancing of how the economy works if we are to swing the balance back to supporting enterprise rather than capitalism. Even with limited and declining budgets I'm sure the City and County Councils and LEP could be doing so much more to use their resources, landholdings and planning powers to better provide a supply of land and premises that better meet and foster local indigenous business growth rather than waste money on futile marketing campaigns in attempts to attract the few footloose companies who may find the area attractive and will no doubt demand large grants and other support that would be better utilised in supporting those local businesses with expansion and employment growth potential. Another area in which our political masters lack the vision that's needed to plan effectively for Worcester and the County's future. 3thinker
  • Score: 2
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree