A Positive View from 4 Counties

There is much uncertainty relating to Britain’s future after it leaves the European Union, not least when it comes to prospects for business growth. Given the current climate and media coverage, it can be hard to remain optimistic. However, there are good reasons for doing so.

Glenside’s work as commercial interior designers and office fit out specialists has led us to carry out projects for businesses across the Home Counties and sometimes further afield. We have undertaken some particularly exciting assignments recently in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire and have been struck by the enthusiasm and spirit of enterprise of the businesses concerned and the people that work for them.

A study of varied sources for information from these economically vibrant regions creates a positive picture.

Berks – “long-term optimism”

The Business in Berkshire 2018 report by the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) recorded that the number of registered businesses in Berkshire grew by an average annual growth rate of 3% between 2010 and 2018 and that the number of Foreign-Owned Companies in Berkshire had topped 1,000 for the first time.

The report also stated that “Recent announcements of investment in Berkshire by leading professional services firms (such as Deloitte and KPMG) suggest long-term optimism for the performance of Berkshire’s businesses.”

Bucks – “entrepreneurial heart of Britain”

In January of this year, The Bucks Herald reported that: “Figures just published show that more new businesses were established in Buckinghamshire during 2018 than in any previous year – despite the challenges of political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit.”

Gavin Spencer from the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce described Buckinghamshire as “the entrepreneurial heart of Britain.” and explained that “attributes helping drive continued investment include economic opportunities, digital capabilities, strong infrastructure and ongoing development plans in place.”

Herts – “support local businesses”

Hertfordshire County Council recently announced that they had successfully applied to be a Business Rates Retention Pilot area. This meant that local authorities in the county would now keep 75% of growth of local business rates, estimated to be worth £11.3 million. Normally, central government would take 50% of business rates growth.

David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, commented: “This pilot will provide us with a greater opportunity to support local businesses and invest in local growth, not least by allowing us to retain more of the benefits arising from future economic growth within the County.”

Oxon – “global trade opportunities”

The OxLEP (Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership) Annual Report 2017/2018 was titled “A game-changing year for Oxfordshire.” The report stated that “Whatever Brexit brings – Oxfordshire is in a prime position to capitalise on the opportunities presented through global trade opportunities and collaboration.

Support for this view of the county’s global potential came from the Oxfordshire Transformative Technologies Alliance’s Science and Innovation Audit (SIA). The SIA made a very exciting claim: “The UK economy – through Oxfordshire’s four emerging transformative technologies of digital health, space-led data applications, autonomous vehicles and technologies underpinning quantum computing – can become a global leader…”

What we believe at Glenside

Interminable negotiations and complicated parliamentary procedures have created an atmosphere of public frustration and pessimism, but it would be wrong to believe that the country is incapable of overcoming the present obstacles.

This positive view of business opportunities will not be confined to these four counties, because our experience and research shows that companies throughout the UK have the innovative capabilities and strategies in place to meet future challenges.

Glenside’s task is to ensure that every office environment we create in close cooperation with our clients can help their businesses to flourish. We have done this for over 45 years and will continue to do so with total commitment.