Whilst we perhaps may disagree as to whether Brexit is still “Exciting”, it is definitely still a “Disruptor”. At Estates Gazette Question Time Cambridge this morning, the panel of Dr. Graham Gudgin, Chief Economic Adviser, Policy Exchange, David Henry, Director, Savills, Harri John, Co-founder, CREation Property Network and Ian Sandison, Chief Executive, Cambridge Bid discussed what effect Brexit will (or may, if it ever happens) have on Cambridge.
The consensus was that Cambridge will come through Brexit and continue to thrive. It is a safe and secure place to be and will continue to attract businesses – particularly in science/tech – as corporate real estate becomes more driven by the location of talent as its key consideration. That is not to say that there won’t be a short term hiatus in investment and as yet unknown challenges to deal with on the way. Concern was also expressed for the services sector in Cambridge – lower paid jobs in retail, hospitality and other services are essential to the success of Cambridge and the world-leading corporations that call the city home. Yet these are the jobs most likely to be affected by Brexit. The cost of living may rise and it is key that Cambridge addresses issues, such as the huge transport infrastructure problems faced by commuters every day on their journey to and from work, to support these workers.
Overall, the panel’s view was that Cambridge will continue to succeed post-Brexit. Opportunities will come from the changes Brexit brings for those who are quick to seize them. Key to Cambridge’s success will be a renewed emphasis on facilitating growth and once we are in a strong and stable place (remember that?), Cambridge can turn its focus to the other perennial issues affecting it: transport infrastructure; housing; retail vitality; and sustainability, to name a few. All Cambridge workers and residents look forward to seeing these issues addressed.