Be Part of the UK’s Economic Recovery & Town Centre Revolution
3 minute read
Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) are the backbone of modern Western economies – they are the key to reviving our town centres, where long-established brands are suffering the consequences of a failure to adapt to technological innovations, with so much bought online that a physical presence is becoming superfluous for some larger retailers, prompting closures.
Town centres focusing on individual local businesses offering variety and creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and new jobs, are making the professions more accessible, including GPs and dentists, alongside popular markets and shops/cafes promoting locally produced food and a range of carefully sourced individual goods. Increased footfall raises demand for housing across all age groups in tree-lined environmentally friendly and safe pedestrian areas, contributing to economic revival.
Whilst local authorities will have to agree plans to repurpose redundant department stores, it is the smaller empty shops in neighbouring streets which offer the greatest potential. Above the redundant retail space there are usually a couple of storeys, neglected for generations, maybe used for office or storage, yet ripe for conversion to studios or apartments. Many have rear yards hidden from public view, for private parking/gardens.
These buildings can be ideal for shared work/living for new industries employing the most modern skills: designers, architects, Hi-Tech and game development, as well as catering and marketing. For the self-employed, costs can be kept at a reasonable level, with common areas for working and socialising and private studios for living, preventing the isolation and loneliness which can result from working alone, at home.
With saving the environment so important, and popular TV programmes like ‘The Repair Shop’ raising awareness of how wasteful society has become, having such expertise available centrally in these hubs would be hugely beneficial, allowing treasured items to be repaired and others to be repurposed.
Art galleries supporting local talent, perhaps linked to a café, with exhibitions and sales of paintings, sculptures, woodwork, glassware, and photography are always popular, but can be too exclusive; having them on your doorstep makes them more accessible – and affordable – for more people. Art lessons for all ages would be another asset.
So, if you are one of the many people reviewing their future post lockdown and are considering a different approach to living and working, could you be part of a town centre revolution?
If so, now is the time to do your research: check out the location of empty shops and other units, verify their availability and accessibility, ownership and whether they’re freehold or leasehold. Talk to friends, family and colleagues to establish if they share an enthusiasm for a fresh lifestyle. Consult with the local authority on change of use planning requirements, business rates, and seek advice from an architect on converting accommodation to match your ideas. It is considered highly likely that the Government will offer financial incentives for innovative start-ups, so now is the time to develop a Business Plan, utilising the best of British talent.
When you have collected the necessary information, Just Mortgage Brokers can guide you to the most appropriate mortgage provider to realise your ambitions to be part of an economic revolution.