The February storms that caused extensive damage across the 3.7-mile coastal route between Dawlish and Teignmouth have certainly left their mark on the region in more ways than one.
It was estimated 80,000 companies operating across the South West might have lost up to £20 million a day as a result of the closure, but businesses across the region have shown great resilience and with the spotlight on our region it has emphasised its importance to the rest of the country.
As supporters of Visit England’s “open for business” Twitter campaign which set about persuading people put off by the floods to visit the region in the aftermath of the storms, we are encouraged by the Prime Minister’s suggestion that the Government could fund a marketing campaign to communicate that flood-hit Devon and Cornwall are open for business amid concern media coverage of the floods could impact tourism.
He says there will be a “big moment to market” Devon and Cornwall once transport links are restored.
Says Paul: “While the storms have caused widespread disruption to business, the resulting media attention the region has received has not been a bad thing.
“If anything, the demand from buyers looking to buy a pub or a hotel in the South West has increased and many of our clients who operate leisure businesses experienced a good trading period over the last half-term and are also anticipating good Easter trade.
“Rising prices in London and the South East has forced people to look to the South West as a preferred location to buy a business or commercial investment property and the recent storms appear to have done little to deter them and with wages generally lower in Devon and Cornwall, businesses are becoming more attractive to potential buyers.”
Says Jon: “The outlook for 2014 on commercial property sales in Devon and the South West is looking the most promising since the recession.
“It is a fantastically diverse area with a lot to offer various commercial businesses with many businesses and corporate operators who are looking to invest, as London and the South East are getting too expensive.
“The region has the added incentive that staff costs are also generally lower in the South West.”
Paul Heather and Jon Clyne launched Newton Abbot-based property agents Charles Darrow in January.