Chester feels confidence improve after job worries in region

Year Published: 2011

An expert in Chester’s property scene has heralded recent business developments in the city as a much needed boost to confidence, following a series of announcements each with the potential to adversely affect the jobs market.

Andrew Clark, who is a specialist property lawyer with Chester-based law firm SAS Daniels LLP, has worked in the city’s property scene for more than 20 years.

Commenting on recent developments in the sector, including Muse developments’ plans for a 500,000 sq ft Business Quarter, Andrew said: “Chester has been in dire need of a confidence boost following the announcement that the owner of MBNA – based on Chester Business Park – was pulling the plug on its UK and Ireland credit card business.

“With the very real possibility that more than 3,500 people could lose their jobs, Muse Developments’ acquisition of the 3.5 acre former Lloyd’s Banking Group site could not have been better timed. The planned Business Quarter has the potential to create over 1,000 jobs in the region.”

Andrew, who joined SAS Daniels in November 2010 – after spending 37 years with Steggles Solicitors, added: “Confidence has suffered in the last few months but I’d be surprised if the continued good news stream doesn’t go some way to restoring that in the coming weeks. Large projects like this which invest for the future are a big vote of confidence in the city and in the health and longevity of Chester’s business prospects.”

And it is not just the commercial property sector which has taken a boost.

“We have seen a bubble of activity emerging in the mid-market residential sector”, said Andrew. “Prices are steadily becoming more realistic and it seems to have spurred the short-term rental market to move back into buying – another sign of increased confidence.

“Chester is still regarded as one of the most attractive locations in the country in which to live and work. Developments such as the Business Quarter will undoubtedly boost the local economy and businesses in Chester which are still having a tough time are likely to feel the pressure ease up a little provided the necessary infrastructure is enhanced to link new developments effectively with the city centre.”

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