South Lakeland Business Premises Survey 2016

Each year we carry out a Business Premises Survey to help provide an up-to-date assessment of the supply and demand of business premises in South Lakeland, this helps us to better plan for how much land we need to allocate for employment uses through our Local Plan. We also use this survey to help understand the opportunities and challenges you face as South Lakeland businesses.

This survey is being conducted by the Economic Development Team. If you have any questions or concerns about this survey then please contact us on 01539 793280 or email [email protected]     

The survey has now closed and results will be posted here shortly. 

2016 Business Survey Results

The 2016 survey was carried out between September and Novembere 2016. The key results from the survey were:

  • There were 940 respondents to the survey, a similar response rate was seen in the 2015 survey.
  • Over a third of businesses responding to the consultation are from Kendal or the surrounding area, while there is also a good response from the Ulverston and Windermere/Bowness areas. Overall there was a satisfactory response rate from the district as a whole.
  • There was also a good representation from businesses that have been trading from less than 5 to over 31 years.
  • Those in the wholesale and retail sector contributed to the majority of responses to the survey, while there was also a considerable response from those in the hospitality, manufacturing and professional/business services.
  • Three quarters of respondents classed their premises as the main workplace/headquarters, indicating that the majority of businesses to the survey are likely to be sole traders. Also nearly two thirds indicated that their floor space was under 2,500 ft², and a similar proportion only employed between 1 to 5 employees. This shows that there is a significant response rate from businesses which are reasonably small in size.
  • When compared to the same survey conducted in 2016, the results are very similar in terms of the types of businesses responding to the consultation.
  • One in six responding business to the survey were effected by the floods in December 2015. 
  • Of the 940 responding businesses, 274 (26.3%) indicated that they would expect their premises needs to change in the next 5 years.  The majority expect to increase in size by means of moving, expanding and/or acquiring new premises.
  • Unsurprisingly the main reason given by those expecting their needs to change is that their current property is too small. Other issues such as unsuitable buildings, available workforce and location were also highlighted.
  • Edge of town and town centre locations in the main towns of Kendal, Windermere/Bowness and Ulverston were the most desired destinations respondents are likely to look for new premises.
  • The most likely types of premises these businesses would be looking for are industrial units,retail units and offices. There is a fairly even split between respondents preferring a premises under 2,500ft², and those preferring something larger (2,501 – 9,999ft²).
  • Responding businesses who expect their premises needs to change feel that location/accessibility of premises, cost, good internet access, access to customers and good transport access were all important factors to consider when choosing a new premises.
  • When comparing the results from the survey to those from the 2014 and 2015 surveys, it has shown that there has been a slight increase in the proportion of responding businesses that expect their premises needs to change over the next five years. Unsuitable buildings being a reason to change premises has also become more common in this survey. 
  • Town centre locations has been the most popular choice of location for businesses looking at new premises in previous years, however edge of town locations (i.e. industrial estate) was the most popular choice this year. 

The 2016 Business Premises Survey full report  

The 2016 Business Premises Survey summary report

By undertaking the survey on a annual basis this helps identify the future needs of South Lakeland businesses which provides a solid understanding of the commercial land and premises requirements. This will help SLDC to focus on ensuring the correct type of land is identified and available.

The last 4 years survey's gave us a good insight into employer’s future land needs and this included those who were thinking of giving up premises. Many businesses also identified other problems including broadband and traffic issues which we passed on to the relevant authorities for action.