On the day we were due to enjoy OxPropFest at Keble College, Oxford, with its gala dinner finale, UK Property Forums instead recorded a new podcast focused on what would have been one of the event’s key talking points.

Thanks to two of Bidwells’ Oxford-Cambridge Arc team, Sue Foxley, director of research and David Williams, partner from the Oxford office, we were still able to look at the incredible potential of The Arc region.

The stats are impressive, as indicated in a research document by Bidwells.

It states: “The Oxford-Cambridge Arc stretches across 2.8 million acres. It comprises just five per cent of the UK’s landmass but is home to 22 per cent of the nation’s science park floorspace.”

The report then goes to predict: “We estimate The Arc will contribute almost 11 per cent to UK GVA by 2050, up from six per cent, currently a gain, not just for the region, but the country as a whole.”

Package these stats with the continuing rental growth, for example (70 per cent for office space in Oxford in the past five years) and one can see why the real estate market gets excited about The Arc region.

But it is the unique collision of the need for the world to find a solution to the current pandemic, the location of centres of excellence such as the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and the clustering of life sciences across the whole of The Arc, which could turbo charge the region over the next few years and underpin the real estate offer.

As we grapple with the implications of this awful virus, maybe the region can respond by providing solutions and be part of this brave new world which we all now face.

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