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Modern offices are “a must” to attract investment

The delivery of modern offices is a key part of a new plan hoping to rejuvenate UK towns and cities.

A report released on Friday (September 27th) by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and built asset consultants EC Harris is calling on the government to work alongside local leaders in order to help boost growth across the country.

One of the points set out focuses on convincing public bodies to free up surplus assets – both properties and land – to be used for regeneration.

It is hoped that by developing modern office spaces, businesses will be encouraged to invest.

Companies looking to take advantage of the scheme will also be likely to consider making the most of video conferencing and hot desks in order to further save money which can then be well spent on other aspects of the business.

CBI chief policy director Katja Hall said: “To kick-start private sector investment we need to see more creative use of public sector balance sheets and surplus land and property being put to good use.”

She added that modern office space and good transport links are “a must”.

The plans have called on strong local leadership from either a council chief executive, a Local Enterprise Partnership chief or a directly-elected mayor – directing them to act strategically and with long-term interests in mind.

It is also hoped that UK high streets will benefit from the plans, with an emphasis being placed on reducing the number of empty shops in town centres. CBI wants to see a business rates “holiday” for firms in their first year of moving into an empty property.

The overall emphasis is very much on the long-term, with the report wanting public money to be joined up with private sector investment to support schemes that will generate returns over a lengthy period of time as through Urban Development Funds.