Local businesses got a rare direct insight into the policy and thinking of the Bank of England at an event focused on the economy after the EU referendum.
Will Holman, the Bank of England’s Deputy Agent for Yorkshire and the Humber, briefed business leaders from a wide range of industries and professional services sectors during the breakfast seminar held at Beverley’s first Grade A offices, Armstrong House at the Flemingate centre.
An audience of more than 80 guests, including Humber Local Enterprise Partnership Chair Lord Haskins, heard Mr Holman deliver a detailed presentation on the Bank of England’s policy, actions in the wake of the Brexit vote and expectations for the economy, followed by a question and answer session.
Mr Holman said: “Events such as this are an opportunity for local business leaders to take a little bit of time away from the office to look at the bigger picture and what is happening in the economy at large.
“The information we provide sets the context and backdrop to the decisions businesses make on an ongoing basis, on issues such as investment and employment.
“The seminar was well attended and the questions indicated a real appetite for authoritative information that helps businesses plan for the future. Business people are unsure about what the economy is going to look like for the next couple of years, following the Brexit vote, so there was a real hunger for information to make business judgements.
Mr Holman added: “These events are also a key way in which the Bank of England reaches out to the local business community. There were plenty of people there that I hadn’t met before, so it was great to meet new companies from the region.
“Armstrong House worked really well as a venue. It’s a really nice space in a great setting in Beverley, which is a lovely town.”
The event was introduced by David Donkin, Property Director of Hull-based regeneration company Wykeland Group, developer and owner of the Flemingate centre.
He opened with a video telling the story of the Flemingate site, which only a few years ago was home to a tannery and chemical works, and how it had been transformed in Beverley’s largest ever regeneration scheme.
Opened last year following a 10-year planning and development process, the £120m Flemingate scheme has brought a host of leading retail and leisure brands to Beverley, as well as much-needed new facilities, including a 70,000 sq ft college campus, 80-bed Premier Inn, six-screen independent cinema, 500 parking spaces and 130 homes.
Mr Donkin said: “Flemingate was a very bold investment which took 10 years to deliver and went through a number of economic cycles and has resulted in a fantastic scheme, delivering a host of benefits.
“I used Flemingate as an introduction to Will’s presentation, because everyone in business has to make investments in the light of what the economic expectations are, whether that is a multi-million pounds development or a decision to take on just one new member of staff.”
Mr Donkin said Wykeland had approached the regional office of the Bank of England to stage the event as the impact of Brexit was the dominant topic of business conversation.
He added: “We thought this would this would be a very useful and topical opportunity for local businesses to hear first-hand from the Bank of England about their policy, thinking and forecasts for the economy, following the EU referendum.
“The audience was highly engaged and the feedback we received was that they found the briefing very useful.
“Armstrong House worked very well as a meeting venue and the event showcased the quality of the available accommodation within the only Grade A offices in Beverley, offering the best views in town looking out upon the Minster.”
Fast-growing consultancy Local Transport Projects (LTP) has already taken 2,200 sq ft of first-floor offices at Armstrong House, attracted by the high-quality working environment with cafes, restaurants, shops and public transport close by. A further two suites are available to let at Armstrong House – 4,000 sq ft on the first floor and 4,000 sq ft on the second floor. The suites can be split as required.
The spacious, open-plan offices benefit from comfort cooling and daylight dimming lighting, as well as shower facilities and dedicated parking spaces, in addition to contract parking available in the multi-storey car park within the Flemingate development.
Flemingate is located just 300 metres east of the town centre, with excellent public transport links from nearby towns and cities and good road links with York, Hull and Leeds. The development is just two minutes’ walk from Beverley rail station.
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