Comment: City well placed to continue to develop

Laura Barnfield
Laura Barnfield

Lawyer Laura Barnfield was brought up and educated in the Lancaster area. After commuting to Manchester for the past six years, she has now joined Baines Wilson LLP’s Lancaster office.

Granted Manchester is a thriving city, employs some high quality professionals and outside of London it currently has the largest amount of commercial property related development, but Manchester is not the be all and end all. As I see it, there is a mass of talent and work to be done in the Lancaster area and the opportunities for growth are considerable.

Aside from the obvious aesthetics of the area, Lancaster and its surrounds has a lot to offer. It has a great mix of local, strongly established and deep rooted business and talent which have blended with national organisations choosing to do business here; fantastic schools and universities to nurture talent and entrepreneurial skills; and an extremely strong and wide mix of leisure and retail opportunities to attract and boost economy. Add to this development opportunities, initiatives and ideas encouraged by organisations such as the university, the chamber of commerce, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancaster’s establishment as a Business Improvement District (BID) and Boost Business Lancashire, there is a huge amount of opportunity here to continue to build upon and develop.

We are an hour in the car from Manchester, roughly a three hour train journey to London and the gateway to the Lake District and Scotland. Lancaster is also located by a central motorway junction and is utilising ‘out of town’ business parks to make business more efficient and convenient. We are well placed for servicing the local area, but equally we are well placed to work with other businesses outside of the area. There is good business going on here and, coupled with the consideration that we now operate in an age of modern communications, video conferencing etc, there are more opportunities upon which to capitalise.  We should also not underestimate the positive impact the new Link Road will have on both bringing more business to the area and improving upon the efficiency of current business. 

These were some of the reasons why Baines Wilson LLP recently moved into the Lancaster area and, in turn, why I have recently left the Manchester office of Pinsent Masons LLP to join Baines Wilson LLP as a commercial property partner. ( more p36)

I look forward to working with and developing business in this area and to sharing my thoughts and ideas from my experience of having worked in the London, Manchester and Leeds markets.