Is Brexit affecting business in North Derbyshire?

Several businesses in North Derbyshire have told Peak FM they're still unsure what Brexit will mean for them.

It comes almost three years since the referendum, with European Parliamentary elections taking place next week and ministers set to vote on Theresa May's withdrawal agreement again on June 3rd in an effort to break the deadlock.

Peak FM has been speaking to several local businesses in the region, to find out if Brexit has had an effect on trade, whether that may be positive or negative.

In Chesterfield, Tom Swallow, development manager at Bolsterstone group PLC said: "Because we're a property development company, obviously the implications are quite large. More a matter of the uncertainty for companies who are looking to move.

"Obviously with Chesterfield Waterside we've got at the moment, we've just put in an application to put a new office block there and we do have interest in that office block. But a lot of that has been halted just while the playing field in terms of what's happening with Brexit has levelled out."

In the Peaks and the Dales, Brexit is having a mixed effect on companies, depending on the type of industry. That is according to Robin Eyre, chairman of focus group Business Peak District: "The mainstays are agriculture and visitor econmony. It is nonetheless  quite diverse. Within each of those sectors brexit will have different impacts. It is a diverse set of feelings and states of play.

"Our members just want to get on with it. They are holding back on investment decisions but it does effect companies differently. For example the visitor economy, they are as dependent on the weather as they are the state of the economy."

David Taylor owns 'Made@Number 18' -a cafe and creative arts centre based in Alfreton. He told Peak FM he is worried about putting prices up in the near future: "The indications are I would say 'yes' it is something to do with Brexit. The problem with that is how can you say to your customers that this is because of Brexit? Your coffee has gone up 50p or your lunh menu has gone up an average £1 or whatever.

"It's the uncertainty of what does happen when we leave? At that point then we're going to have to pass those expenses on. And whether or not people just turn round and say 'well I can't come in here anymore' and we go out of business, it's such an unknown."

Toni Carannante is managing director of Dronfield-based castings company, William Lee: The closer we've been getting to the deadline, the more confused and unsettled our customers have been. We've had a lot of success in Germany winning new work and there's been a slowdown in requests to quote for new work. We feel this is part of the problem of the uncertainty with Brexit.

"Will the customer want to pay the extra charges for import duties and tariffs? Who's going to pay those bills? As projects that we're currently enjoying end, the replacement work isn't there. So ultimately we lose business, we lose work and we lose people because we've got to trim the workforce to match the order book."


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