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Business rates bills to soar

Retailers on London's West End shopping streets face an 80% surge in business rates bills according to new research. Property specialist Gerald Eve has found shops on Oxford, Regent and Bond Streets will pay a total of £293 million per year as a result of revaluation from today, which will come into effect in April 2017.


Capital tops international retail rankings

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

London attracts more international retailers than any other European city, according to a report published today.

The 'Destination Europe report, from global real estate adviser, JLL, found that Bond Street is the preferred street when it comes to luxury retailers. Retail space in New Bond Street can command €12,300 per square metre per year, making it the most expensive in Europe.

The capital pipped Paris, Moscow and Milan in the rankings.

London top in house prices rankings

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

House prices in London have risen by more than 17 per cent in the past year according to the latest survey.

Prices increased by at least five per cent in all of the UK's five largest cities for the first time in a decade, with London seeing the biggest rise (17.3 per cent.)

Region facing major skills crisis in construction

London and the South East are facing a major skills crisis in the construction industry - with the amount of skilled labourers nowhere near meeting the demand for work. A new report by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, along with KPMG, reveals that when it comes to projects between now and 2017, there is a gap of nearly 15,000 workers. Without more people- and more training- this situation is set to jeopardise house building and large infrastructure projects.

Construction industry faces skills crisis Credit: PA

The industry has experienced great difficulties in recruiting enough skilled workers, for both professional roles and manual trades, to keep pace with new work. According to the report, a 51% increase in training provision would be required to meet demand for skilled labour between 2014 and 2017 to plug the gap.

255,000 workers are needed on site to deliver the 2015 pipeline of housing yet 400,000 of the workforce are expected to retire in the next 5-10 years. 20% more workers are required to meet the pipeline of around £96 billion of construction projects in 2014-17,

Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of LCCI said:

"Our members have long spoken to us about their difficulties recruiting sufficiently skilled workers. The detailed findings of this report highlight just how grave skills shortages are in the construction sector, with significant deficits of capable workers across numerous trades and professions.

Richard Threlfall, KPMG UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction said: "This report calls on the industry itself to wake up and take responsibility to increase levels of training dramatically. It also calls on Government and training providers to recognise that the industry is changing, with ever greater application of technology and a trend towards offsite manufacturing - the skills required in the industry tomorrow will be very different from the skills required today. And above all it calls on all in the industry to take steps to boost the image of the construction sector as an attractive career path for the next generation in our schools and colleges.

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