Saturday, January 16, 2021

2021 Business Predictions: Mark Edwards, Managing Director of AC Lloyd Commercial

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.

Here we speak to Mark Edwards, who is Managing Director of AC Lloyd Commercial and has worked in the sector for 35 years.

AC Lloyd Commercial has joined forces with Henry Davidson Developments to create the £30 million mixed-use development at Teal Park in Nottingham.

I expect the commercial industrial market to remain relatively robust in 2021 with a reasonable level of demand from occupiers and support from investors, and I don’t see any reason why that will change materially.

But the future for the office market is almost unknown. How it is going to fare will be depend on the decisions of businesses and whether they want to remain in an office environment or have their employees working from home either full-time or coming to the office on a rota basis.

I think their decisions will be a direct correlation to the vaccine opportunities and how quickly the programme is rolled out and whether they want to take the step of having staff back in the office.

Until this plays out it is going to be very difficult to call what the demand in the office sector will look like.

There has been a significant and permanent shift to more flexible working and I don’t see that being reversed to pre-pandemic standards of demand, so it may be that businesses want less space or they will keep the same amount of space but divide it into areas where there is more space for each employee.

The hospitality, leisure and retail sector is in a desperate situation and I think 2021 will be horrendous for them unless the vaccine is widely distributed and taken up successfully. I don’t see how businesses in those sectors have any way out of their current predicament.

The commercial world will be focused on the industrial sector with a little bit of activity around convenience retail which I think is quite robust since people have been using their local shops more in recent months.

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