Kitchen Bakery Alison McTaggart started making sourdough bread in her kitchen 18 months ago. The home business is doing so well she wants to open a bakery in Cambridge, but says it has been impossible to find the right premises.
Posted by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on Thursday, July 23, 2015
Also for a while on BBC iPlayer you will be able to hear the piece that went out yesterday morning
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02w3bgq Listen from 1:19:10 to 1:27:30.
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire approached me this week to talk about how I had started baking, the journey of breadonabike and the challenges I am facing now of taking the next step, especially in a place like Cambridge. They produced a well edited piece for the Dotty Macleod Breakfast show highlighting comments I made about very high rents for commercial properties and that for some new developments in Cambridge new businesses are simply not considered. This at a time when the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has just published figures to show that commercial property prices in the East of England have gone up for the 9th quarter in a row.
Rob Sadler, Head of Savills Commercial for the Eastern Region was asked for his comments and he agreed that properties are in short supply, are expensive and that it is very difficult for new and even many established businesses to find the right premises because of the pressure on commercial property in Cambridge generally. Compared to Peterborough or Huntingdon, he said that rents and prices for commercial property in Cambridge are at least double.
Dotty MacLeod asked about the impact in the long term if small businesses can’t get a foothold in Cambridge. The bigger question of the impact on Cambridge as a city to live and work in wasn’t answered, he focussed on what I could do, continue working from home and maybe extend my house, take on a (cheaper) industrial unit or go into partnership with other businesses, and suggested that businesses would have to adapt to the commercial market. He said Cambridge has been proud to be a city where most of the businesses are homegrown, particularly high tech ones, but that now a lot of new businesses were moving into the area as the city has come into the spotlight.
Dotty Macleod finished the piece by asking if I had considered moving to Peterborough and swallowing the commute! But when my business is already well established here with a wonderful community of Cambridge people who want good, fresh, locally produced ‘real’ bread that would make it a long way to cycle with deliveries ;).