• Kevin Murphy

In-Depth: Yorkshire Regional Economy & Investments

As of October Lloyds Bank Regional PMI is reporting that local companies operating in Yorkshire & Humber were creating new jobs at the fastest rate of any other location in Britain. Additionally, that Yorkshire companies hired additional staff at the fastest rate of all regions for the fourth time in six months.

On its scale of performance measuring the PMI report showed Yorkshire & Humber had a PMI of 57.0 for October compared to 55.9 in September. A value that exceeds 50 indicates the growth a growth of business activity.

Leigh Taylor, regional director for Yorkshire at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said to BDaily:

“Yorkshire and the Humber remained one of the UK’s brightest spots for economic performance in October.”

“The region experienced one of the fastest rises in employment over the past two-and-a-half years, as local businesses responded to rising backlogs of work and higher demand.

“However, the region’s businesses were also the hardest hit by rising costs, which resulted in another sharp increase in prices charged to customers. They will be watching the upcoming Autumn Statement closely for announcements on initiatives that may help to ease their cost burdens.”

The SCR is comprised of nine distinct local areas for public-private partnership to address issues such as transport, infrastructure, housing and business support.


The city of Sheffield is one location that has benefitted from the regional economic growth. The Sheffield City Region (SCR) has had its share of international investment along with new businesses and employment gains for the past three years according to recent data.

The SCR local economy has added 37,000 new jobs with 16,000 being with the assistance of the SCR partnership with regional businesses. Across the city region are 68,000 businesses with 650 being multi-national companies. Amazon, Boeing Hitachi and Mclaren Automotive are all located in the region.

Its also expected is an announcement that that the SCR has become the location of choice for digital and technology sectors with 40,000 new jobs by years end. This sector has seen growth increase faster than any other location in the UK.

Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said:

“Sheffield City Region’s forefathers built a truly global brand synonymous with quality, expertise, a ‘let’s get it done’ work-ethic and a significant sense of community.

“Now we are building on our privileged position and doing their legacy proud. We are achieving transformational change in modern manufacturing and technology sectors, particularly high performance components in the automotive and aerospace sectors.

“The decision by companies such as Boeing and McLaren to move here will not have gone unnoticed, and the international Horasis China Meeting taking place in the city region earlier this week will have further cemented our reputation on a world scale. I am proud of what we have achieved and look forward to seeing more of these successes in the near future.”

BDaily reports that the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing will become a £1 billion global centre for for metals and materials manufacturing.

Another new research centre at The Olympic Legacy Park and the former site of Don Valley Stadium will be the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre with 70 researchers from Sheffield Hallam University.

Commercial Property Outlook

Office lettings in the Sheffield city centre are up 133% as reported in data by Commercial Property Partners (CPP). For the period of August 2016 to July 2017 the firm secured a total of 116,378 sq ft of sales and lettings including the 36,000 sq ft Grade A office supply building Derwent House.

Rob Darrington, partner at CPP told BDaily :

“The healthy supply of good quality office stock in Sheffield has enabled the city to attract companies from outside of the region as well as catering for those existing businesses seeking better, more economical office space.

“Despite the well documented on-going negotiations around Brexit, the take-up of buildings throughout the region in the period in question was strong, with experts within the industry predicting that Yorkshire will outperform London with regards to growth in office jobs in the final quarter ahead.”

“In light of recent developments in the Sheffield City Region - which include the approval of a £300m development at Meadowhall Shopping Centre and the announcement of HS2 coming to Sheffield – office properties in Sheffield will further increase in demand.

“Indeed, 2017 has seen the total take up of office buildings to already be over 320,000 sq ft, exceeding the long term average of 305,000 sq ft.

“The market dynamics suggest that the final quarter of 2017 will see an increase in activity as many postponed property decisions now come to fruition, triggering occupiers to consider their current position.

“Right now, there is a window of opportunity for occupiers to choose from, but this is limited and will not continue into much into 2018.”

Residential & Student Accommodations

Announced in October a new property development by Manchester development firm Regency Residential will bring to the Sheffield city centre a new apartment complex, the Queen’s House. The new property will offer 99 high-specification apartments with floorpans of studio, one and two bedroom accommodations. Completion is expected in 2018.

What makes the property attractive is its closeness to The Orchard Square Shopping Centre, the O2 Academy.

Speaking with Insider Media Chris Taylor, managing director Regency Residential, said:

"Sheffield is one of England’s largest cities, with a growing population that includes more than 60,000 students.

"The demand for limited, high-specification properties of this kind is soaring among young professionals and mature students who want to live in thriving city centre locations.

"All of our developments maximise capital performance and Queens House is no different. Sheffield’s already excellent connectivity, which will only be improved by HS2, is driving economic and population growth – an attractive prospect for investors.

"Without doubt, this well-located scheme will sell out quickly."


To the south of Yorkshire is Doncaster which has become popular with businesses and investors.

One of those is Hitachi’s development of a £70 million rail depot at the historic Doncaster Carr locomotives depot. This will be that maintenance facility for Virgin Rail and Transpennine Express services to begin in 2018.

Recently announced is the partnership between Lazarus Properties and Stoford Developments for a new £35 million industrial property. Once approved by the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council the 404,000 sq ft property on 30.11 acres will have two buildings for offices at 251,000 sq ft and another at 152,500 sq ft.

Dan Gallagher, joint managing director at Stoford,told BDaily:

“There has been a significant growth in the industrial and warehouse sector over the past five years and we identified the land off Hatfield Lane to be a prime site for a warehouse development.

“Now that the reserved matters application has been approved we can prepare for construction to begin. This will be yet another superb development in a strategic area of South Yorkshire, close to major network roads and the M18, bringing much-needed jobs to the region.

“Now that the reserved matters application has been approved we can prepare for construction to begin. This will be yet another superb development in a strategic area of South Yorkshire, close to major network roads and the M18, bringing much-needed jobs to the region.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Lazarus, bringing together Stoford’s national industrial development expertise and Lazarus Properties’ strong local track record.”

Lazarus Properties currently has property of 275,000 sq ft for leisure and retail in Doncaster. Additional property is reported to include 75,000 sq ft of offices and 1 million in industrial stock.

Glyn Smith, of Lazarus Properties, states:

“Here at Lazarus we are excited at the prospect of delivering this important new development in partnership with Stoford, whose expertise in delivering projects of this nature is well known.

“This long-term investment will provide the region with another key warehouse and distribution facility.”

Development of a new facility for Amazon expected to be the size of 14 football pitches at iPort. The £100 million development will have 1.1 million sq ft for warehouse space when completed.

Another benefit for developers and investors is addition of 15 new flights this year from Doncaster Sheffield Airport making the journey even international flights easier.

Another sector, tourism, is expected to see growth in future as BDaily states:

‘The city region’s tourism and leisure economy has also seen a boost with developments such as Peak Resort, currently being built on a 300-acre site in Chesterfield. The complex, to include sport, leisure and education facilities as well as various accommodation options, will create 1,300 new jobs.’

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