Author : Nichola Pughe
The collective efforts to make UK’s Square Mile the most inclusive, innovative, and sustainable business center in the world is an ongoing process. Going by the developments happening in and around this area, the efforts are showing some signs of bearing fruits. This is despite the hit of the Covid 19 Pandemic, the ‘here to stay’ work-from-home culture, and more recently, an uncertain property market. The Hybrid work environment that businesses now face is here for the long term and still leaves a requirement for a physical office.
The Importance of Square Mile
The Square Mile has emerged as one of the largest global business hubs over the past few years. A large number of financial institutions have come up in the Square Mile. These numbers are more than impressive.
These are approximate figures, but with The Square Mile attracting new companies constantly, these numbers are growing.
The Long-Term Resilience of the Office Market
According to leading property consultants, the demand for offices in central London is on an upward surge. The City of London Corporation has revealed that it has given development permission equaling nearly 80 percent of the entire office floorspace it sanctioned for 2021. They have also resolved to approve more than two million square feet of office floor space within Square Mile developments. Therefore, it is clear that the city office market remains buoyant despite the pandemic-induced work-from-home situation.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the City has also continued to be an attractive spot for business owners. The £1.2bn deal for UBS’ Broadgate HQ on behalf of NPS is the second largest single transaction in the City and has significantly lifted London’s business district. The Square Mile, in particular, holds a good future for big-ticket transactions because of the size of assets available there. Many have confirmed plans to relocate within the Square Mile, both larger companies and startups who find it attractive for business development.
Long Term Vision
The UK government has a vision for the next five years backed by detailed planning and action to boost the attractiveness and competitiveness of the City.
There are three key dimensions on which the government is focused:
· Promoting an innovative ecosystem for businesses.
· Making an exciting offer that benefits employers, visitors, and residents.
· Offering infrastructure that supports people and businesses
According to the City of London Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuiness, "Inclusion, innovation, and sustainability should be at the core of the future city. We remain confident that the Square Mile will return to its usual buzz and vibrancy by building on these pillars.”
The Recovery Taskforce has a mission to ensure that Square Mile becomes the world’s most desirable business address by making it an attractive place to work, live, learn and visit. A five-year marketing campaign is being planned to promote the city as an inclusive, exciting place for work and business. Weekday events will also support physical and mental well-being among the city’s workforce. They will be working with the UK property industry to achieve their goals and are planning collaborations with private sector partners to provide digital skills, network access, and capital. The City Corporation aims to curate an ecosystem of tech-driven businesses.
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
Strategic partnerships, holistic delivery/ opportunities, growth, value engineering, thought leadership
Ian Barber MD BTR Mobilisation & Leasing
Runs HQ & site lease-up teams. Drives rent pricing, mobilisation, marketing, happy residents!
Jon Curtis MRICS Head of Building Engineering
Chartered Building Surveyor. Lectures on EWS1 & building safety. Runs CapEx programmes.
Kate Robinson MIRPM MD Blocks/FM Management (London Region)
Master plan setup, ops and staffing and resident engagement. ISO45001 champion.
Lee Harle Partner Ringley Law
Plot conveyancing. Debt litigation. Group Company Secretary.
Anthony Kingdon MIRPM AssocRICS MD Blocks/FM Management (North Region)
Stakeholder engagement. Mixed tenure specialist. Budget management. Plant audit, PPM compliance.
Chris Georgalis MRICS Head of Commercial Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental valuations: retail, leisure. IRR modelling and valuations for secured lending. Compulsory purchase & rent reviews
Nichola Pughe MRICS Head of Residential Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental development & mixed use valuations, IRR modelling. Leasehold enfranchisement specialist
Libby Chen MSc Compliance Manager
Operational Plant & Equipment strategy PPM Compliance lead, Asset tagging Client major projects
Dipesh Parekh Director PlanetRent
Customer centric, vertically integrated PropTech/fin-tech solutions.
Leana Aristodemou MIRPM MARLA AssocRICS Strategic lead: ESG & Asset Business Plan delivery
Financial modelling, valuation analyst to support underwriting & fund reporting.
Natalie Birmingham Helpdesk Support Manager
Trainer & Helpdesk Manager: people, systems,contractors. ISO45001 supply chain accreditation.
Steve Norman Planning Director
Land due diligence (opportunities & constraints) Has contributed to a number of award winning schemes.