2020 Business Predictions: Stephen Salloway, Managing Director of Salloway Property Consultants

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 we talk with Stephen Salloway, Managing Director of Salloway Property Consultants.

The knowledge that we are definitely leaving Europe means that the shackles will come off potential investors in the property market in 2020.

Investors, whether they were EU leavers or remainers, will embrace the General Election result, say “let’s move on” and provide the vital stimulus we have been lacking.

The Government needs to hold good on its pledge to invest in infrastructure which is essential for property development and job creation in the construction industry.

Another boost would come from a fundamental review of the rating system but I would also like to see a root-and-branch review of planning.

Politicians should influence strategy for cities and towns and developers need to work within the parameters or their policies but planning applications should not go back to them for subjective judgement.

There has been a shift in the local market from commercial into residential property and I don’t necessarily see that changing because there is a clear need for more housing and investment in this arena will play a big part in driving the economy forward.

In terms of business, Rolls-Royce is entrenched in Derby and will develop new cleaner ways of propulsion, driving requirement for the very best engineers inside the company and in the supply chain.

Bombardier has also had impressive new orders and that is giving confidence to the railway industry which is so important to Derby.

But HS2 needs to be resolved sooner than later. If it is canned, there needs to be some other investment in the railways with new lines or further electrification.

Indeed, it raises a question about why we would spend so much money on shipping people to London.

Shouldn’t we be less reliant on the capital? A marker would be to de-centralise government departments.

I was involved in what seemed to be a done deal in bringing the Prison Service to Derby. That fell at the last hurdle but it should have been the catalyst for more investment in the regions not less.