Letter: Record of job creation

AS THE managing director of Liberty Property Trust UK, the developer of Kings Hill in Kent and one of the companies exploring options for the possible expansion of Horsham, I would like to respond to Dr Roger Smith of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Horsham and Crawley District (County Times, January 12).

Dr Smith implies that property developers, including Liberty, might foolishly subscribe to the ‘if we build it, they will come’ attitude to job creation – which we know is simply not true. What we also know is that on all Liberty business parks we outperform national averages in terms of occupancy levels and hence job creation.

Furthermore, our data shows that Liberty tenants tend to stay with us longer than the industry average and a very great number grow in size on our parks. This is good for sustainable job growth.

How then in the absence of a magic wand does this happen? This happens because of the quality of the environments that we create in which our tenants do business.

It is not by accident that Liberty’s corporate mantra is ‘Enhancing people’s lives through extraordinary working environments’ and this is something we strive to achieve – and do – at each of our 19 locations.

Kings Hill is just one of our success stories where through the creation of an outstanding environment we have created jobs that otherwise would not be available to the local community; the park is home to more than 100 businesses employing some 5,000 people, as well as 6,500 residents.

ANDREW BLEVINS

Managing director, Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd

St John’s Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent