Countdown to Brexit: Mark Richardson, Partner at BB&J Commercial

Mark Richardson

With the countdown to Brexit quickly ticking away, Business Link Magazine invites a select number of the region’s business leaders to offer their thoughts.

Here we talk with Mark Richardson, Partner at BB&J Commercial, Derby.

“The great difficulty with Brexit is the unknown. Less than three months to go and the whole issue still seems to be kicked around in parliament like a political football, with nothing as yet resolved, and apparently very little thought put into how it may affect business.

“Messages from the property market remain mixed. On the one hand we are coming into 2019 off the back of a very strong business performance in 2018. We are in an area (Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire) where there are some very large speculative industrial and logistics schemes being built. These are taking advantage of our central geographical position and excellent transport links, and the level of commitment indicates confidence on the part of the developers involved.

“On a more local level we are seeing no lessening off in terms of investor appetite for gooddeals, having been to ‘best and final offer’ scenarios on a number of deals at the back end oflast year. However Brexit is occurring at the same time the retail sector is going through some very well publicised difficulties, and locally we have seen a number of closures in both the retail and leisure sector as a result of both a shift in shopping habits and maybe a tightening of household finances as a result of uncertainty.

“Having said that there are also a number of local city centre redevelopment schemes that have been given the go-ahead, and if these progress it will certainly help to maintain a level of confidence.”