Harris Lamb has voiced its hopes following news that businesses in Stoke on Trent are creating jobs at a faster rate than the majority of the UK. It is hoped this will encourage developers to invest in speculative development across the region to address a shortage of quality industrial stock.

The city was topped only by Liverpool, Glasgow and Milton Keynes when it came to creating jobs over the past three months, with 3,500 jobs being developed in the Potteries over the past 12 months.

The findings were revealed in the UK Powerhouse study, which also reported that the city’s economy is worth £4.8billion.

andy-grovesAndy Groves, who runs Harris Lamb’s Stoke office, said: “This is excellent news for the region, particularly as it follows 2015’s ‘Beyond the City’ report, which demonstrated that the city had the second fastest growth in productivity for a city or region outside London between 2010 and 2015.

“These continued studies and favourable findings are cementing Stoke’s position on the industrial map and ensuring it remains a hot-spot for investors, employers and occupiers. Enquiries within the region remain high as the ongoing demand for modern industrial / warehouse stock exceeds current supply,” he said.

In recent months Harris Lamb’s Stoke office has let and placed under offer a wide variety of industrial buildings. Highlights include the letting of a 40,000 sq ft unit on Berryhill Industrial Estate that after some competition between occupiers, was let to Stoke based ceramics manufacturer Emma Bridgewater. The agency has also recently sold a nine-acre site in Kidsgrove to Arnold Clark Motors who have acquired the site to transport car down from its Scottish base and then distributed to its network of dealerships in Staffordshire and the West Midlands.

Letting on smaller units is also at a very encouraging level with two 5,000 sq ft units being placed under offer this week.

Andy said the occupier market showed no signs of slowing down however it is been restricted by the low levels of vacant stock on the market.

“The market has steadily improved over the last two years, and even though there was a brief stutter following the EU Referendum result as businesses paused to review the economy and their respective sectors, normal service has resumed and we continue to field more enquiries and close more deals. The freehold industrial sector is particularly strong due to increased occupier confidence and improved availability in bank lending.

The Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone was officially launched last week and was attended by 200 people wanting to gain an understanding of the sites and opportunities available within the Enterprise Zone – the need for speculative development within the Potteries has never been higher, and we are hopeful that developers and investors will recognise the findings of the UK Powerhouse study and respond accordingly – by working together to provide opportunities for the demand that is undoubtedly ripe within the region.” he said.