Mapping of Creative Hubs and coworking spaces pan Wales

Robert Chapman
December 13, 2018

In the Spring of 2018, the Creative Economy Unit at Cardiff University was commissioned to undertake research for The British Council of Wales and Arts Council of Wales. For the first time ever, this entailed mapping creative hubs and coworking spaces throughout Wales. I was invited to join the team. These are my brief reflections.


The definition of a ‘creative hub’ was taken from the British Council’s report Creative HubKit, with a focus on physical hubs. A database of hubs and coworking spaces was created using a combination of desk-based research, existing hub knowledge and sourcing new contacts via existing contacts. This was done for each of the 22 local authority areas... Continue reading


Robert Chapman
September 19, 2018
Economic Development

I established my business on 1st April 2001. Since that time, I have advised many businesses and organisations to leverage the economic impact of the property asset in a positive and beneficial way (rather than negative and detrimental way) to sustain their operations. Here is one example.


n 2002, I helped a relocation cli... Continue reading

#inwardinvestment #capitalinvestment #commercialproperty #economicimpact #commercialproperty #economicsustainability


Robert Chapman
September 10, 2018
Economic Development

I can honestly say that business / enterprise owners, and 'principals' still don't fully understand the economic impact of property: something that I have witnessed (dare I say) over several decades. 

Yes, with decades of experience in the commercial / business / third sector arenas, I have seen leaders making and taking decisions around property without strategic property advice and generally making serious mistakes that impact on their respective businesses and enterprises. Why? A good question. The predominant reference is to the Accountant (Finance Director) but oftentimes property does not boil down to a single number (s). And, for the avoidance of doubt, solicitors can only get involved in their desk-top work when they are properly briefed about a property - preferably by the client in tandem with the strategic adviser. If not, the briefing they receive will be imperfect and will document a "bad deal" compounding the econom... Continue reading

#economicimpact #businesses #enterprises #propertyadvice #expertise #makingatangibledifference


Robert Chapman
May 21, 2018


Start with the cost of works by:

(i)                  Reviewing the legal documents;

(ii)                Identify the breaches

a.      Reinstatement of alterations;

Continue reading

#business #enterprise #commercial #property #commercialproperty #economicimpact


Robert Chapman
May 01, 2018

For those businesses and organisations (of all types) that occupy commercial property under the terms of a lease, they should be aware of (or wary of) ‘‘dilapidations’’.

What are they?

Dilapidation is derived from the Latin for scattering the stones (lapides) of a building. In the commercial property world, ‘dilapidations’ refers to breaches of lease covenants relating to the condition of a property, and the process of remedying those breaches.

Dilapidations can throw up very large sums of money which can have a significant econ... Continue reading


TENANT’S BREAK CLAUSES – a point of view from a Chartered Surveyor

Robert Chapman
April 10, 2018

If a tenant exercises a break option, the effect on a tenancy is the same as if it were an unprotected one. This is because section 24(2) of the LTA 1954 specifically allows the tenant to end a protected tenancy using a break option contained in the tenancy agreement. As an absolute safeguard, one could ensure that the contractual break notice complies with the requirements of Section 27 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954.

If one serves a ‘break’ notice, it is essential that the tenant is prepared to follow through this action. Why? Because the potential stumbling-block lies in Section 26(4) of the 1954 Act which makes it quite clear that a tenant cannot request a new tenancy after having already given notice to quit. It is clear from Section 26(4) that a tenant cannot serve a break notice and then, after that date, serve a Section 26 request for a new lease.

As regards ‘break clauses, it is well establishe... Continue reading

#worksplace #businesses #enterprises #economicimpact #economicdevelopment #property #commercial #cogentadvice #expertadvice

Property is still the Cinderella of business strategy

Robert Chapman
March 27, 2018
Economic Development

In 2010, I issued a stark warning to companies and organisations of all types that they were potentially losing thousands of pounds because of poor strategic business planning. Indeed, I stated that many companies and organisations were ignoring the economic impact of their property decisions, describing property as the ‘Cinderella’ of business planning. This is something that I have been aware of since entering the commercial property arena in 1990. Indeed, the importance of businesses receiving crucial property advice was recognised by a leading UK economist Roger Bootle of Capital Economics when he provided a research report for the RICS in the early 2,000’s.

Well, scroll forward to 2018, and I continue to be truly amazed by the number of businesses that leave property issues out of their business strategy, and many which fail to utilise the services of a Chartered Surveyor at al... Continue reading

business; service sector manufacturing social enterprise commercial property economic development economies creative industry financial sector

Coworking ……and the man from Machynlleth

Robert Chapman
February 25, 2018
Inclusive Growth

Coworking is predominantly an urban phenomenon and represents an integral part - one could argue - of the micro-business economy. This chimes with a recent report by The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) which stated that self-employment in the UK grew from 3.6M to 4.33M between 2007 and 2016. During the same period, self-employment in Wales increased from 161,000 to 176,000 which represented 38% of total jobs growth. So, if coworking is an urban phenomenon why can't it apply (why shouldn't it apply) to a more rural hinterland where agglomeration does not exist?


At this point, let me tell you a true story. To contextualise it, I need to refer to a phrase which was used by the late Law Lord, Lord Denning, and others in the Law Courts: "the man on the Clapham Omnibus". In essence, this was a reference to the ordinary man (person) in the street. Perhaps the urb... Continue reading

rural v urban; local economic development; inclusive growth; coworking;

Taking a lease - what a surveyor can tell you that a lawyer can't

Robert Chapman
January 30, 2018

Taking a lease - what a surveyor can tell you that a lawyer can't

A lawyer will agree a lease for you but by the time your lawyer is engaged (to undertake a desktop exercise), the commercial terms of your deal have already been agreed. Therefore, there is limited opportunity for your lawyer to improve your deal and negotiate significant cost savings.

Employing the services of a chartered surveyor (or expert advisor in my case) to help negotiate your 'heads of terms' will save your business money, now and in the future.

Key negotiation points where a surveyor can help generate value

Rent - Chartered surveyors specialise in rent negotiati... Continue reading
Leasing Rent Saving RC2 Robert Chapman Cardiff Wales

WHERE’S THE MONEY? Impact and consequences of public finance austerity: Part 2

Robert Chapman
September 12, 2017

[Returning to Welsh terra firma from a 6-month stint working in Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, I thought I would share some reflections on the impact (and consequences) of austerity on English regions. The situation in Wales may be similar?]


Research by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) in February 2017 provides some valuable insights into the state of local government finances. Notably, apropos alternative income, reserves and borrowing, 88% of local authority respondents said it was a high priority, or essential, to explore other sources of income. As research by Localis reveals, this has led to ‘The Rise of Entrepreneurialism in Local Government’ (2015) . Here are some of the ramifications of this entrepreneurialism:... Continue reading

Public Finance Austerity. Article

WHERE’S THE MONEY? Impact and consequences of public finance austerity: Part 1

Robert Chapman
September 11, 2017


Returning to Welsh terra firma from a 6-month stint working in Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, I thought I would share some reflections on the impact (and consequences) of austerity on English regions. The situation in Wales may be similar?

Naturally, context is important. Centre for Cities research on public finance (‘Mapping Britain's Public Finances’) reveals a couple of interesting snippets of information about financial wherewithal.

Of the £548 billion raised in tax, local authorities get to keep £50.7 billion (9%). For every pound raised, local authorities keep 9p, with the remaining 91p sent back to the Exchequer. This underscores the fact that Westminster represents one of the most centralised governments in the world.
 Of the £681 billion spent, local authorities account notional... Continue reading
Public Finace Austerity. Article

Riding the wave of workplace change

Robert Chapman
September 09, 2017


In the modern world, it is often stated that the only thing that’s constant is change. How true that it is today, especially in the technology, digital era workplace. The pace of change - Malone’s third law - states that: “Every technology break through takes twice as long as we expected and half as long as we are prepared for.” 



Leading on from the introduction, it is suggested that by 2020, 50% of the global working population will have been born after 1980. By 2025 that number goes up to 75... Continue reading

Workplace Co working

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