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News Release


CBI visits Exeter to examine impact of Brexit vote on local economy

Autumn business briefing hosted by JLL will help businesses plan for the future

EXETER, November 2, 2016 – Deborah Waddell, regional director of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), will address leading businesses from across the Exeter and Heart of Devon region today (Wednesday November 2, 2016) at an autumn business briefing hosted by property consultancy JLL.

The JLL autumn business briefing will examine the importance of closing the economic gap with London as well as outlining the challenges and opportunities following the EU Referendum. Deborah will also explore what steps the Government needs to take following the vote to secure business confidence. She will say that incentivising investment and innovation will be of particular importance.

Tim WesternThe theme of the event is ‘how will you work tomorrow’ and findings from JLL’s new report on how technology will transform the work place over the next 15 years will also be debated at the event. The report, entitled ‘Workspace, reworked: ride the wave of tech driven change’, looks at how industrial and office space will need to adapt to 21st century needs.

Karen Williamson, director in JLL’s corporate research team, will talk to businesses about the opportunities presented by technological advancements and the need for organisations to be able to respond to change.

Fast and reliable internet connectivity is going to drive more business location decisions, which presents a particular opportunity for larger towns and cities in the South West which can offer this combined with an excellent quality of life for workers.

Karen will also discuss the seismic shift in demand for flexible working space that JLL expects to happen by 2030. There will be a much greater focus on designing work spaces that are better suited to the increased mobility and flexibility which technology affords. In fact, JLL predicts that up to 30 per cent of property portfolios will be made up of flexible business space by 2030.

The Internet of Things – in which everyday objects, including buildings, have network connectivity which allows them to send and receive data – is also expected to have a major impact on how we use buildings to track and measure data. The next generation of smart buildings will become the vehicles to manage employee productivity, sustainability and user experience.

Tim Western, head of Exeter’s JLL office, says: “This event is going to equip businesses with crucial information on how they can best plan for the future – both in terms of preparing for the changes that will come as a result of the EU Referendum and the incredible technological changes that continue to affect every aspect of society. New opportunities will emerge from all of this, and those who are able to respond to change will reap the rewards.”

Deborah Waddell, CBI South West Director, said: “Following the outcome of the EU Referendum, it’s now more important than ever to ensure economic growth reaches all regions and nations of the UK. Therefore businesses across the South West will be looking for an ambitious Autumn Statement that focuses on incentivising investment and innovation.

“Ultimately, all companies need greater clarity from the Government on the fundamental issues of skills and barrier-free access to EU markets as soon as possible.”