During 2019 it became evidently clear that the deadlock in Westminster over Brexit was having an impact on the everyday lives of the hardworking population across the UK.  

The politicians seemed to be out of touch with the “real world” and it is, therefore, not surprising that old political allegiances seemed to have been put aside and the British people have broken the impasse and returned Boris to No. 10 with a resounding majority.

Putting politics to one side, and avoiding the debate over whether “getting Brexit done” is the right thing for the UK’s long-term prosperity, we now appear to have broken the deadlock and 2020 promises to be a year when we can let the Civil Servants negotiate a trade deal and we can hopefully focus on rebooting Lincolnshire’s economy.  

Not that the County is in a bad way.  2019 has been a busy and successful year, compared to large parts of the rest of the UK who have reported a challenging and generally stagnated property market.

At Banks Long & Co we have disposed of over 500,000 sq feet of business space, including deals at St Modwen Park, Lincoln to DHL and NIC, totalling 96,000 sq feet.  A confident move by St Modwen building warehouse speculatively and since committing to a further 80,000 sq feet of new build warehouse space – we are in progressive discussions with quality occupiers for 2020.  

We have attracted new names to Lincoln city centre, including Seasalt, 200 Degrees Coffee, Neon Sheep, Doughnotts and North Shoes and have bought and sold over £50m of investment property for a variety of clients.

We seem to have bucked the national trend.  

So, what to expect in 2020?  The delivery of Phase 2 of Lincoln Science and Innovation Park – Phase 1 has been a resounding success.  Phase 2 will deliver brand new Grade A office and laboratory space.  

A number of developers are working on building a variety of new trade/business space schemes, designed to tap into the SME markets.  We expect to see businesses re-emerge with requirements to expand and move into a variety of quality space.

One of the most notable changes will be to the city centre.  As the retail sector continues to wrestle with the UK-wide structural change within this sector, Lincoln is catching all the national headlines for the right reasons. 

The Cornhill Quarter is already a success – the scheme has redefined the shopper habits and re-routed the pedestrian flow as visitors enter Sincil Street from award- winning rail, bus and car park connections.  

The opening of Everyman Cinema, The Botanist and the new HMV Concept will breathe more life and vibrancy into this major part of the city centre – the transformation from what was a declining secondary area 4 years ago to one of the UK’s most sought after shopping, leisure and dining schemes is made more remarkable when set against the downward spiral of many town and city centres across the UK.  

The completion of the third phase of development, which will include the four-screen Everyman Cinema, has paved the way for the creation of what will become one of the most attractive urban squares within the city centre. 

More quality retail and casual dining names will be announced in early January and the success of the Cornhill Quarter provides a true pointer towards the prospects for the city centre and the wider County’s economic prosperity of 2020.

Direct LNER Azuma trains to London, the opening of the Eastern Bypass and exciting growth plans in the County’s market towns, all point towards 2020 being a year when we can get back to doing some place-changing business.

We are proud to be playing a role in assisting our many private, corporate and public authority clients in promoting and attracting a wide range of new, inward investment into a city and County which has so much to offer.