Dudley’s £1billion investment pipeline was top of the agenda at the inaugural Black Country Property Forum earlier this week.
The forum is the first of its kind in the Black Country and brought together more than 80 businesses from across the region to celebrate and promote the success of the local property market.
The forum was organised by CoStar UK, Dudley Council and the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, it was held at the Hawthorns, West Bromwich.
Dudley’s regeneration plans, which will see £1billion invested and the success of DY5, Dudley’s business and innovation enterprise zone was one of the main talking points of the day and highlighted the significant progress being made in Dudley and the wider Black Country.
Since it launched more than two years ago, DY5 has seen continued growth with more than 700 new jobs been created as well as £24 million invested from national and international developers, 14,000 sq. m of space occupied, 15,000 sq. m new floor space created and five hectares of land developed across a number of locations.
The Waterfront alone, one of the locations within the zone, has seen more than 20 percent office space reoccupied in the last two years, with many businesses including Prosperity Wealth and Cromwell Tools realising its full potential and either choosing to expand or relocate there.
The area has also seen a growth in its retail and leisure offer with new businesses including The Garrison pub, Armour Dance Studio and Fitness Studio opening in recent months.
It will also be home to Resonance, a new music institute, which will occupy the former Cable Plaza building and offer degrees for students seeking a career in a range of music industries.
The success of DY5 along with the planned projects in and around Dudley, including the £449 million Midland Metro extension, the £28 million Very Light Rail national innovation centre and the multi-million pound investment of Cavendish House, illustrated the momentum building within the region.
During the event, Erin Amon, a CoStar market analyst for the Black Country updated delegates on the commercial real estate market. She explained how the industrial demand has seen vacancy levels reach an all-time low.
CoStar news editor Paul Norman interviewed a panel of commercial real estate experts about opportunities in the region. They were all in agreement that the public and private sector had never been so closely aligned in terms of securing inward investment and growth.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:
"With the success of this event, there is clearly a real appetite for growth across the Black Country, which is fantastic news.
"For us in Dudley, the momentum is building, the investment is growing and times are changing and we are proud to share what’s been achieved so far.
"Within the enterprise zone, we have already attracted significant national and international investment into a number of development opportunities which will provide hundreds of jobs for local people in the future.
"We’re planning to build on this and work closely with other partners, developers and investors to bring other sites back into use and really put the enterprise zone at the heart of doing business in the Black Country.
"The huge regeneration projects in Dudley will only complement what’s happening in DY5 and strengthen our position when attracting further investment.
CoStar account manager Jonathan Browning said:
"Feedback received from the market has been great. It was good to see so many key property professionals from both public and private sectors under one roof, discussing the successes and growth plans for the Black Country.
"We look forward to helping to continue to promote the local market to our global audience as a place to do business and look forward to helping to deliver the next event.
As part of the event, awards were presented to the region’s top dealmakers.
Commercial property specialists Bulleys walked away with five awards for being the most active leasing agent by square footage and volume for both office, industrial and the most active sales agent for office and industrial combined.
Awards also went to Gerald Eve and Dowley Turner Real Estate.