Monthly Archives: April 2012

Rural Business Centres – New Market Research by Rural Solutions and Lancaster University

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Rural Solutions has recently completed a valuable market research project with Lancaster University focusing on the Rural Business Centre market.

Having worked directly with rural business centre owners and occupiers across the country, Rural Solutions believes it has obtained a unique market insight.

Findings indicate that the rural office market is clearly segmented with differing influencing factors for each market segment. Rural Solutions has also found a clear disconnect between rural business centre owners’ perception of occupiers’ needs and the actual preferences of companies choosing to occupy rural offices.

If you would like to learn more about our findings please contact Kate Paterson or Ralph Foljambe of Rural Solutions on 0845 302 4766.

Keeping your Tenants

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There has never been a more important time for being more proactive about keeping your rural business centre tenants sweet. We see too many landlords burying their heads in the sand and taking the view that no news is good news. The prospect of loss of rent and empty building rates could be just around the corner if landlords are not careful. The attitude of business in many rural business centres has changed since those helicon days of the mid noughties; gone is the seduction of a fine view, plentiful car parking and a traffic free journey to work. It’s all about the bottom line, even if business is going well!

A cursory question of ‘how’s business?’ once a month will always be met with a, ‘it’s just fine’ – if as a landlord you see this as understanding your tenants, then you are wrong.

To find out more about how to approach and interact better with your business tenants, contact Rural Solutions; the country’s leading rural planning and development specialist, who has conducted research with the help of Lancaster University and its own program of rural business centres workshops to look at this very subject.

Rural Enterprise Zones (REZs)

By | general, government-legislation, officesinthecountryside-com, rural-affairs, rural-offices | No Comments

This nationwide growth initiative was mentioned by the Chancellor in November 2011 to go hand in hand with its urban counterpart. The intention is to create hubs that draw benefit from tax incentives, relaxed planning and super-fast broadband that will, as a result, become the catalyst for new companies to spring into being in the countryside. The Government is right when Caroline Spelman says: “Lots of people who live in the countryside would like to work in the countryside”, but if only they really understood what this means. It requires brave entrepreneurs to take the plunge in making this a reality in a lending environment that is austere to say the least! Working in the ‘real’ countryside is not about working in hubs that will have to be established in areas that will be questionable in terms of their ‘rurality’. One of the great benefits to working in the countryside is what this can say about a business and those who work for it. It must bring lifestyle as well as business benefits to those that make the decision to set up in a rural location and there is a long way to go in educating the market about the great potential that lies in the countryside for a competitive and balanced 21st century Britain. Our worry is that REZs do not bring the attention to detail that is required to put the needs and advantages of working in the countryside forward. Enterprise zones have been tried in the 80’s and 90’s to little effect and, although honourable in intent, it is inevitable a more esoteric approach will be required than simply adding the word ‘rural’!

Rural Solutions Secures Consent for Retention of Rural Employment Space

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Rural Solutions has recently helped a small business owner in North Yorkshire to secure retrospective planning permission from Craven District Council for his rural workshop.

The owner of the site and adjacent residential property approached Rural Solutions following an enforcement complaint, which arose from the use of a workshop building in conjunction with his manufacturing business.

A planning application was submitted by Rural Solutions for retention of the building for employment purposes. The submission, which highlighted in particular the strong support in the Government’s new National Planning Policy Framework for (rural) economic development, was granted consent by the Local Planning Authority earlier this month.