Worcestershire’s Key Employment Land is Being Lost to Residential Development Says GJS Dillon

Worcestershire’s commercial property market performed better than predicted during 2023 according to a newly published report. But business growth is being stifled by the lack of quality accommodation. Take up of office space increased by 21%, the industrial market stagnated with demand far outstripping supply.

Speaking at the launch of GJS Dillon’s Commercial Property Market Report 2024, Andrew Lewis, Commercial Agency Director and author of the Report said: ‘We saw a 21.4% annual increase in take-up of office space with employers prioritising size, location and quality when it comes to seeking new premises. The rise in demand for town and city centre offices continued. Meanwhile industrial occupiers are lapping up quality units but the supply of space was well below demand so take-up was unmoved’

Key findings from the Report included:

  • 2023 office space transactions totalled 203,210 sq ft compared with 167,353 sq ft in 2022.
  • The industrial market had a take-up of 1,103,500 sq ft in 2023 compared to 1,095,182 sq ft in 2022
  • Office rents in Worcester passed through the £20 per sq ft barrier for the first time ever at the Vinegar Works
  • Worcester saw a 246% increase in industrial take-up being attributed to 5 lettings over 10K sq ft

‘The vast majority of businesses in Worcestershire are SMEs employing 5 to 20 people and developers are not building property that’s suitable for that market’ said John Dillon ‘If that doesn’t change, the market will just deliver big warehouses and this conundrum is stopping businesses from growing. The other major obstacle to business growth is we’ve lost a lot of key employment sites to residential development. We need to take back control’

The report launch at Sixways featured a discussion panel chaired by Rory McAllister. Joining John Dillon, managing director of GJS Dillon on the panel were Craig Baldwin, Area Director, Real Estate, Midlands & South Wales for Lloyds Bank, Gary Woodman, CEO at Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.

The report is based on figures from CoStar, and published in partnership with the Worcestershire LEP.

GJS Dillon’s Worcestershire Commercial Property Market Report 2024 is available to download here www.gjsdillon.co.uk/marketreport