2018 in preview: Jane Cowley, Gateley

Jane Cowley

Jane Cowley, family partner at Gateley in Leicester, gives us her three business predictions for the year ahead.

1. Resilience will be key
The East Midlands is one of the fastest growing economies outside the South East and produces 21% of UK manufacturing output, has the second largest airport dealing with freight in the UK and is at the heart of the transport network in the UK. Despite this, the most recent HM Treasury report confirms our region is losing out in terms of public investment and the East Midlands is within the third lowest regions in terms of expenditure on health care, on education, and on services generally.

In 2018 I think that Leicestershire will unlock economic growth and prosperity and speak with one voice to clearly articulate the reasons why investment in our region will produce return. Investment in our infrastructure is desperately needed if we are to unlock our competitive advantage. Investment to date, including motorway upgrades and smart motorways, has largely been focused on the West Midlands and so this is the year for change in the East Midlands.

2. Business Improvement District Leicester will strengthen local businesses
Leicester’s first Business Improvement District will launch, delivering a more welcoming, accessible, safer city, that is better promoted to drive business. Businesses in Leicester will be fully supported to grow and thrive throughout the year.

I believe that in 2018 we will see Leicester’s BID benefit businesses within the city by delivering a clean safe and attractive environment, raising the city’s profile through high quality marketing and support a cohesive business voice in the city.
3. The Royal wedding will boost tourism
Our region has a strong and genuine connection with the Royal family and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s forthcoming wedding will create a renewed feel good factor for us. Especially following their first official public appearance in Nottingham after the announcement of their engagement. I believe that we will see a wave of optimism, street parties and community spirit, together with a boost for our tourism industry and will assist our retail industry in sale of commemorative items. Everyone loves a party – however, I do not think we can expect an extra day’s holiday!