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From homes to office accommodation, rural settings have well and truly come into their own this year. While plentiful fresh air and space have always held a certain appeal, the new need to socially distance due to COVID-19 is driving a significant rural renaissance.

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson encourages people back to work, Burrough Court in the Leicestershire countryside is one business hub that’s already feeling the impact of 2020’s trend for all things rural.

“We’ve seen a notable uptick in interest in rural business premises since the pandemic began. With remote working suddenly becoming so much more mainstream, there are plenty of companies that are now happy with their workers to be based at home or within regional hubs. Presenteeism in the city is rapidly losing its appeal.”

Fred Wilson, Director, Burrough Court

 

Set in 22 acres of woodland near Melton Mowbray, Burrough Court epitomises the kind of rural office accommodation that many are now seeking. The site is easily accessible by car, offers a COVID-secure environment and comes complete with a variety of walking routes around the farm, enabling socially distanced exercise to be incorporated into the working day. There is also a gym for keeping fit, along with The Studio, for Yoga, Meditation and Pilates classes and an on-site coffee shop for those all-important caffeine fixes.

Burrough Court has seen a notable rise in the number of clients returning to work on-site in recent weeks, with many companies arranging rotas and setting working days for different staff members to aid social distancing.

85% of the offices and 92% of the warehouses at Burrough Court are now occupied, with tenants hailing from a diverse range of sectors and industries, including training, property, charitable, creative technology, sports and many more. Tenants have remarked on how safe and well-managed the site is in the face of the challenges posed by COVID-19.

“Despite the lockdown I have continued to use Burrough Court as the place is quiet, spacious and I have always felt safe here. The team have managed the past few months incredibly well, maintaining a sense of calm and normality that has allowed me to crack on and focus on my business, which has been invaluable to me in these challenging times.”

Jim Overend, Managing Director, Gamechanger Consulting Ltd, tenant at Burrough Court

The push for rural office accommodation – and residential property – is likely to be a defining characteristic of COVID’s impact on the way that we work and live. Rightmove reported a 126% increase in enquiries about buying a home in a village in June and July, compared to the same months in 2019, while Knight Frank has made similar observations.

Nor is the rural renaissance limited to just the UK. UBS reports that a third of rich American and more than half of wealthy British, German, French and Italian investors now want to move to less populated areas.

In the East Midlands, business confidence is rising hand-in-hand with individuals feeling happier about returning to work. The Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Business Barometer rose four points during July, reflecting the region’s growing sense of positivity.

“We won’t be getting back to ‘normal’ anytime soon, so that means there are plenty of opportunities for businesses to think rural when it comes to their future plans, both short-term and longer-term. Leicestershire has so much to offer both residents and workers when it comes to reconnecting with a more rural way of life. We fully expect this trend to continue at least throughout the rest of 2020.”

Fred Wilson, Director, Burrough Court

For more information, call 01664 454 690, email [email protected] or visit www.burroughcourt.com.