Positivity and confidence amongst Gatwick Diamond companies
09 September 2014
Summer may have passed but the economic forecast for the Gatwick Diamond is bright and getting better, according to a survey by the Gatwick Diamond Initiative.
The business-led partnership has published the results of its quarterly Business Barometer survey, which was conducted earlier this year to assess the mood of the business community in the area.
In addition to general questions about finance and economic confidence, the survey focused on the availability of land and business premises in the region and implications for growth with the overall picture painted being one of positivity and confidence amongst companies.
“This survey shows Gatwick Diamond businesses feel that, in every sense of the phrase, they’re in a good place at the moment and one that’s going to get even better,” said Rosemary French, Gatwick Diamond Initiative executive director. “It also shows our work is helping to address the needs of the area and ensuring it is a world-class place to live, work and do business.”
There were 60 responses to the survey split across a wide range of company sizes and sectors. When asked about their economic outlook, nearly 80 per cent of respondents said they expected their company’s turnover to expand in the next six months.
More than 50 per cent also reported that they expected their staffing levels to rise over a similar period, and just under half said they did not expect to need to consolidate and reduce business costs in the coming half year.
It would also seem that businesses in the Gatwick Diamond are increasingly self-sufficient, with fewer than 17 per cent saying they had sought external finance to support or expand their business in the previous three months.
Another factor to put a smile on the faces of the region’s business leaders was satisfaction with location in the Gatwick Diamond. Almost 88 per cent were happy with their current business premises, and just 12 per cent planned to move in the next year, with lack of room for expansion being one of the most frequent complaints. Of those that did want to move, nearly half said they were only considering other premises in the Gatwick Diamond area.
Uncertainty over the future of Gatwick Airport – whose expansion the Gatwick Diamond Initiative supports – was a frequently mentioned concern but overall the survey showed a positive outlook on the future amongst the business community.
“With more land and commercial premises becoming available all the time, the Gatwick Diamond has never been a more attractive proposition for companies to invest or relocate to the area,” Ms French continued.
“Multinational companies and smaller enterprises have already chosen the Gatwick Diamond because of the excellent international connectivity, access to talent, and quality of life and we want to help business leaders from outside the region relocate their company to the Gatwick Diamond and start to benefit from the many advantages having a business here has.”