We still need more employment land – whatever the outcome of Brexit, says regional business

Pictured: The Chamber’s Coventry branch looks over plans to expand Loades Ecoparc at its latest meeting
Coventry Chamber

The shortage of employment space in Coventry and Warwickshire will remain a challenge – whatever Brexit brings.

That was one of the messages from the Coventry branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s latest branch meeting at Loades Ecoparc in Exhall.

Plans to expand the industrial development were highlighted at the event, which also heard about the work the Chamber has done on behalf of members to help them prepare for the UK’s exit from the EU.

David Penn, President of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Coventry branch, said: “Understandably, there is a great deal of talk about Brexit and the Chamber has done an incredible job in deciphering each new development and making it relevant to businesses across the region.

“We heard from James Ahearne, David Burton and Alan Durham who have led the Chamber’s work on Brexit in this region and have helped feed into the national picture through the British Chambers of Commerce.

“For me, one of the biggest issues around Brexit is the fact that it has dominated our public discourse for so long that the focus has been lost to some degree on other important matters affecting our economy.

“Coventry and Warwickshire is very robust and, in recent weeks, I’ve seen lots of evidence of great work that is taking place here in the city and the county that will see our economy continue to grow. We also heard many positive stories from companies in our meeting around investment and growth.

“And that means we will still need more land for employment across our region in order for companies to grow and also to attract new inward investment. That won’t change with Brexit.

“We need more new developments like Loades Ecoparc and, therefore, it is vital that we have the space to create quality stock for companies in a range of sizes and sectors.

“It is something the Chamber has been calling for over recent years and it is a message we will continue to press upon decision-makers at a local, regional and national level – no matter what the final outcome of Brexit is.”

The shortage of power was also raised as a barrier to growth, along with a shortage of skills in some sectors of the economy.

The event also heard from Dr Andrew Roadknight, of the University of Warwick, who highlighted the opportunities to make use of the West Midlands Europe Hub in Brussels for meetings.