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Leeds’ real estate sector shows real signs of growth
Oct 24th, 2013 by contact@ignite

sold-signAccording to a survey recently carried out by Deloitte Real Estate UK Cities Crane Survey, confidence is growing in the office development market in Leeds.

The detailed survey shows that the amount of floorspace under construction in Leeds has risen significantly – by 68 per cent – since last year’s survey, with 147,000 square foot across four development schemes.

The demand during the first half of this year has been high, with the take-up reaching 438,000 square foot which is eight per cent higher than the total reached during 2012.

Deloitte Real Estate’s head of Leeds, Angela Barnicle, said that new starts in 2013 were being led by office and student housing developments: “The rise in activity suggests growing confidence in the Leeds office market and we are seeing renewed optimism and vibrancy across the city.

“Despite the healthy level of activity in the regional office market, developers have thus far not rushed to develop new floorspace.  However, Deloitte Real Estate research shows we could be on the point of seeing a number of speculative schemes starting, aiming to attract tenants currently faced with little or no choice of currently-available floorspace.”

The survey also showed that things are looking up for Leeds’ retail sector; the opening of the Trinity Leeds development was followed by a refurbishment of the Merrion shopping centre with work on the city’s Victoria Gate development due to start next year.

However, residential developments in Leeds city centre appeared to be quieter: no new construction starts and zero completion of residential properties during 2013 means that residential property completion levels are at their lowest for a decade.

 

The shining stars of Yorkshire cuisine
Oct 24th, 2013 by contact@ignite

michelin

As any Yorkshire-man will tell you, the region boasts some of the finest cuisine you’ll find – from the legendary Yorkshire pudding, through to parkin, gingerbread and Wensleydale cheese, Yorkshire delicacies are pretty hard to beat.

However it also appears that the region is rapidly becoming something of a hotspot for fine dining as it’s recently been revealed that Yorkshire has more Michelin Star restaurants than any other county in England outside London.

The Michelin Guide 2014 was published recently along with announcements of the Michelin Star awards, naming five top restaurants in Yorkshire as having one of the coveted stars.  The restaurants are The Box Tree in Ilkley, The Black Swan at Oldstead, The Old Vicarage in Sheffield, The Pipe and Glass Inn in South Dalton and The Yorke Arms in Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale.

In addition to the Michelin Star awards, a further three restaurants received a Michelin Bib Gourmand; awarded by Michelin to restaurants offering good cuisine at reasonable prices.  The Bib Gourmand winners were Prashad in Drighlington, Vennell’s Restaurant in Masham and El Gato Negro in Ripponden.

The Michelin Guide was first published in the UK way back in 1911 and is probably the most highly regarded guides to restaurants and hotels in Europe.

The Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Gary Verity, said: “It’s fantastic for our county to once again be recognised as a national leader in fine dining and indeed quality food across the board.

“We’ve known how good the food is here in Yorkshire for a long time, so it’s nice to have the Michelin guide acknowledge that too.  We have some of the best food producers in the country, and for Yorkshire to have so many Michelin Star and Bib Gourmand restaurants is great for tourism.

“This is also welcome recognition for the county as Yorkshire prepares to host the world’s largest annual sporting event – the Tour de France – next July.”

Yorkshire has ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’
Oct 24th, 2013 by contact@ignite

money-trading-2-1415240-mAccording to a senior analyst at one of the UK’s largest investment management and financial planning firms, Yorkshire is ideally placed to reap the benefits as the economic recovery begins to spread beyond London and the South East of England. Brewin Dolphin’s head of fund research, Ben Gutterdige, said that manufacturing and financial services firms based in Yorkshire were playing a part in helping to rebalance the UK’s economy. He made his comments after a seminar organised by Brewin Dolphin. The event was attended by around 60 business leaders and was entitled ‘Reasons to be Cheerful.’ Also included in the event was a speech on the arrival of ‘Le Tour Yorkshire’ in 2014. Mr Gutteridge said: “While I do think financial services in London are particularly well-placed to benefit from the global upturn, I think that it is spreading out and Yorkshire’s contribution from financial services and manufacturing is helping the UK recovery to become more sustainable, rather than just being a housing market story. “It’s helping with that re-balancing goal that George Osborne and David Cameron want to achieve. The Yorkshire economy, like many regions of the UK, is still benefitting from the accommodating monetary policy which is in place. “That will help underpin a strengthening housing market and that will put more money in the pockets of Yorkshire consumers.” Antonio Horta-Osorio, the boss of state-backed lender Lloyds, warned recently that the Help to Buy scheme put in place by the government risked creating a potentially dangerous house price ‘bubble’ unless it was matched with the building of more homes. Antonio Horta-Osorio called for a relaxation in planning and building regulations, along with more social housing projects, to avoid the rising numbers of mortgage approvals driving up house prices. Ben Gutteridge said: “There’s a lot of concern that housing market may trigger early interest rate hikes while the economy is still in a nascent recovery. “Our hope is that the clash of Help to Buy with the Bank of England’s own macro-prudential tools will allow the central bank to leave interest rates at a lower level for longer. “Perhaps the Bank of England will ask banks to park more capital to one side, if they’re doing too much mortgage activity, to make sure the housing market doesn’t spur any unnecessary early tightening of interest rates.”

Joanne’s top tips for fabrics for blinds
Oct 13th, 2013 by contact@ignite

Because we’re all things to all people, we often have guest reviewers and experts on the site to give you ideas on all areas of your life. This week we’ve got Joanne from Blind Boutique giving you her tops on fabrics for blinds:

I recommend a strong linen union (cotton and linen mix) for most window blinds. This also works well for long, lined curtains, but use cotton for bed linen, cushions and shorter, more informal curtains.

Use a patterned fabric as and edging on a pair of plain curtains- it’s a great way to lengthen a pair that are too short – or try the opposite and add a plain border to patterned curtains.

An easy tip for using two or more fabrics together in a room is to choose them from the same design collection, like my Cow Parsley teamed with Plain Dotty and Stripe and Dash.

Fabrics look different ind ifferent lights, so always take a swatch home, or get one sent to you, and look at it in the roomit will be used in before making your final decision.

lf you’re planning to make your own covers for a three-piece suite, a stylish option is to choose a different look for each piece; cover the sofa and both chairs in different – but toning – fabrics, for example.

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