In another interesting development, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan intends to build a team, which will help create and protect affordable workspaces in the City. The announcement comes in the wake of a report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research, which recommends continuing the protection of affordable workspaces in London.
The report published by the Institute estimated that London’s open workspaces hosted 31,000 people and generated £1.7 billion for the capital’s economy. As a consequence, the Mayor would recruit a team of entrepreneurs and business leaders to constitute the Workspace Providers Board.
The members of the Board will advise the Mayor on securing workspace, including through the planning process, and creating new space, for example through identifying sites for building new developments or re-fitting empty space in existing buildings.
The Mayor has welcomed the Institute’s report findings and will ask all of London’s boroughs to support and help create affordable workspace in their local areas. The Mayor will also ask the boroughs to signal their commitment to protecting workspace by signing up to a workspace pledge.
The priority is to recognise the important role of workspace for start-ups, small businesses and artists in London by implementing a number of measures, such as, limiting the conversion of office space to residential space through permitted development rights; encouraging the provision of affordable workspace through planning policy and good practice and ensuring new developments include non-residential space suitable for the needs of small businesses.
The stakeholders of the UK property market should welcome such an initiative because affordable workspaces will strengthen the fundamentals of London’s real estate ecosystem.
The report recommends continuing to protect workspace through the planning system and using surplus public sector assets to create new workspaces in areas of employment growth