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New confidence needed
The last few weeks have seen another slowdown in relation to business confidence which is either due to the further bad publicity that the banks are receiving or perhaps as business starts to slow down for the summer holidays.
Whichever is the case the recovery in business confidence and lettings and sales of commercial property which we have seen gradually improve over the last few months, is hopefully not going to grind to a complete standstill.
Again for another month it must be the retail sector which is still causing the most concern.
It is reported that Wyre Forest District Council have a ‘High Street Innovation Fund’ from the government for £100,000, so retailers can move into vacant premises in Wyre Forest and could benefit from 100% discount on business rates for one year, so long as the premises have been empty for over three months.
The weather and general doom and gloom in the economy do not help instill levels of enthusiasm when it comes to expanding businesses. Local visitor attractions including the West Midland Safari Park may well see their numbers boosted as the public look for attractions locally rather than the annual trip to the coast. Bewdley and Stourport could also benefit from this by those holidaying closer to home.
Although this is unlikely to resort in there being any increase in values locally, the number of shop premises in Bewdley and Stourport now reoccupied is good and adds to the general feeling of these towns being more prosperous.
There are, we understand, feasibility studies being carried out in connection with the former British Sugar factory site on the Stourport Road so as and when this site is developed it will be an important creator of jobs for which the local community should benefit and it is development like this which is needed to boost the area and replace the industry which has been lost the demise of the carpet factories.
Kidderminster does desperately need new industry to help the local economic recovery and manufacturing storage and distribution companies require large well situated premises in which to promote their businesses and with the availability of employment land throughout the area such companies need to be attracted to Kidderminster as being close to the motorway network and a local workforce many of whom may not have worked since being made redundant from the local companies.
It is hoped that we shall see return to commercial growth in the last half of the year and having a wide range of properties available both for sale and to let in Wyre Forest, we should be one of the first to gauge the autumn economic climate in the Wyre Forest area.