2020 Business Predictions: Ann Bhatti, Head of Connect Derby

It’s that time of year, when Business Link Magazine invites the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.

While none of us possess a crystal ball, it is uncanny how accurate some of these forecasts have been over the years.

Here, Business Link catches up with Ann Bhatti, Head of Connect Derby, the managed workplace scheme.

Brexit dominated talk throughout 2019, but it’s only now as 2020 gets underway that we’re really going to see its likely effect on businesses.

Connect Derby tenants are telling us that they are less fearful of the outcome of Brexit than they were 12 months ago. The constant delays with the withdrawal agreement have resulted in many businesses becoming rather apathetic about the whole Brexit issue. Many of them are now deciding to ditch the cautious approach and take more risks with their business.

As we move away from speculation and into reality, I believe businesses simply want to get things moving again and will finally have the confidence to make the changes they need to grow their businesses.

Managed workspaces, which continue to grow in popularity with businesses of all sizes, are set to see an increase in enquiries – especially those located in city centres.

This is definitely the case in Derby city centre, where there is currently a real buzz, with proposals for the first significant office space in the city for a number of years at Cathedral Green, Bold Lane and the exciting new £200m Becketwell regeneration scheme, set to take shape in 2020.

This is set to encourage larger businesses to relocate back into the city centre and make it a more vibrant place to live and work.

Progress is also set to be made at Infinity Park this year, reinforcing Derby’s reputation for innovation, particularly in the aerospace, automotive and transport engineering industries.