More commercial space needed to lower unemployment in Warwickshire

Tom Mongan, Marcus Jones, Martyne Manning with other members of the Chamber’s north branch

More commercial space needed to lower unemployment in Warwickshire

More land needs to be set aside for jobs in Nuneaton and Bedworth or the area could see unemployment remain well above the regional average.

That was the message from business leaders at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s North Branch meeting with MP Marcus Jones, hosted by Subcon Laser.

Subcon itself is struggling to find the space to meet its growing needs and it’s an issue being felt right across the area.

This comes at a time when unemployment in the borough stands at 5.5%, compared to 2.8% across Warwickshire.

The Chamber has responded to the Borough Plan for the area, saying that there needs to be more space for businesses to grow and is calling on companies that are having difficulties expanding to get in touch.

Marcus Jones said: “The plan at the moment is a little unbalanced. There needs to be more emphasis on commercial growth so that businesses currently in the area can grow and, also, so we can attract new companies here.”

Subcon general manager Tom Mongan chaired the meeting and said his firm was one of those struggling to find the space to grow the business.

He said: “We are maxed out at the moment and we have a vision for growth as a business but this issue is making it very difficult to put that into place.

“We understand that there have to be new housing schemes in the area but the people who live in those new homes will need jobs to go to – if there isn’t enough employment space, we are creating a bigger problem for ourselves.”

The Chamber has been campaigning on the issue right across the Coventry and Warwickshire area after its Go For Growth campaign identified the lack of employment space as a key barrier to growth across the region.

David Penn, vice president of the Chamber, said: “There appears to be an issue where local authorities feel that if they take another look at employment land, they will have to change their housing numbers too.

“We have been informed that this is not the case and, therefore, gives authorities the opportunity to look again at the balance of space for jobs – without having to readdress the housing numbers.”