MK factor gives reasons to be cheerful

Jonathan Rawcliffe
Jonathan Rawcliffe

Jonathan Rawcliffe, senior agency surveyor with Budworth Hardcastle in Milton Keynes, tells Business Citizen that he remains unapologetic about his ‘pro-Milton Keynes’ tone

Anyone who read my article in the final edition of Business Citizen of 2010 will have detected a very positive ‘pro-Milton Keynes’ undertone.

That was quite intentional and I offer no apology for continuing in much the same vein in this article too.

I suspect that most of us who work here in Milton Keynes would broadly echo those sentiments. There are so many good things happening here, I think we have every right to be proud.

We certainly have cause to be encouraged by what we have witnessed over the first quarter of the year.

Confidence seems to be returning

Whilst many businesses are still feeling the after effects of the recent economic turmoil, the overwhelming sentiment which has been expressed to us is that most believe that they are now through the worst period, and slowly but surely confidence does seem to be returning.

Our enquiry/viewing levels have certainly been higher in the last 3-4 months, and this is starting to filter through into more completed transactions.

Early signs of new development activity

There remains an understandable air of caution, especially with continuing uncertainty as to when we may see interest rates rising again, but we can draw some conclusions from the re-emergence recently of both private property investors – invariably those wishing to acquire through their pension funds – and some early signs of new development activity starting once again.

These are both indicative of a gradual improvement in the market overall.

We’re increasing in warehouse sector

Although Budworth Hardcastle only opened their Milton Keynes office two years ago, we are already well established within the market.

Whilst our brand in Milton Keynes is perhaps more synonymous with office accommodation, we are also increasing our presence into the warehouse/industrial sector including a few landmark instructions such as the Saxon Park development at Denbigh East, advising Liverpool Victoria in respect of their four refurbished units.

Further up the size range, we have also been appointed by Gallaghers in respect of the Wixams development in Bedford comprising circa 30 acres of prime commercial development land, and being suitable for high quality distribution, industrial and office on a design and build basis to occupiers’ requirements

200,000 sq-ft opportunity

Furthermore, we will be coming to the market shortly with a 200,000 sq ft opportunity situated in northern Milton Keynes.

We are also advising a number of international companies in respect of their MK requirements.

The directors of Budworth Hardcastle are investing heavily in the business to ensure this growth is both well managed and continues.

Spring 2011 marks the arrival of two new surveyors within the firm; one in our property management team and a fourth building surveyor to support this very busy department.

The website is also due to be completely over-hauled and re-launched in the next few weeks.

None of us can predict what the next few months will hold, but there are plenty of reasons to be positive looking forwards.