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Read about all the latest developments from the world of Volterra below. If you want to stay in touch with us sign up for our newsletter.

The Prospects for property in 2015

The Prospects for property in 2015

Strutt & Parker and Volterra Partners held their annual conference, Prospects for Property, on Wednesday 28th January 2015 at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London. Nearly 300 property developers and fund managers attended. The research presented at the event gave a view on the outlook for the UK economy, macro property view and individual asset classes. Paul Ormerod gave the main economic presentation, and his slides are available here. A feature of his presentation was linking movements in the returns on commercial property to a new economic emotion index he has been developing with the Centre for the Study of Decision making Uncertainty at University College, London
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Volterra make the economic case for a new garden suburb in Northumberland

Volterra recently assisted property developer Lugano in assessing the economic case of a new housing development on green belt land at Birney Hill Farm in Northumberland. The plans are for a garden suburb type development of 280 houses set within farmland and allocating 17.9 hectares to on-site public space. The proposal was initially rejected by Northumberland County Council and our assessment was in preparation for a public inquiry that took place in January, when Volterra Senior advisor Bridget Rosewell was an expert witness. Bridget proposed that the scheme would be an “essential component” in the revival of the North East’s economy, as such an attractive housing development would draw people and businesses to the area who would in turn contribute towards the region’s economic competitiveness and success. The result of the inquiry will be announced later this year. News coverage of the enquiry can be found here, and you can read our economic report here.
Volterra reviews TfL’s Economic Appraisal Guidance

Volterra reviews TfL’s Economic Appraisal Guidance

The Volterra team recently undertook a review of the transport appraisal guidance used by Transport for London (TfL). The review focused on improving the current Business Case Development Manual, which is used by TfL to determine if a new transport scheme should be given funding. We were able to give insights across a range of issues, prioritised according to the extent to which they were relevant to TfL’s investment programme and by how much they might change the valuation. Our topics included wider economic benefits, the economics of cycling, rail crowding and how it is incorporated into transport appraisals, use of multi criteria analysis for better decision making and valuation of business time savings. The recommendations of our review will help shape transport appraisal in London into the future.
Volterra investigates a potential new location for Everton FC

Volterra investigates a potential new location for Everton FC

Volterra recently produced a report investigating the potential relocation of Everton FC to a new site at Walton Hall Park in North Liverpool. The study found that up to 1,250 permanent jobs, 1,000 new homes and 30,000 square metres of leisure, retail and restaurant space could be created by the proposed plan. Everton’s 50,000-seater stadium and the rest of the development would take up between 40-50% of the available green space in the park. Whilst acknowledging that the stadium would not be a silver bullet in regard to instantly transforming a currently deprived area into a prospering community, the report does conclude that – when coupled with appropriate other complementary uses and supported by collaborative transport, economic and development strategies the plans hold the potential to unlock regeneration opportunities and may help to deliver long term step changes. Read the full report here.
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Planning permission granted for Battersea Park East

Permission was granted at the end of 2014 for a mixed use development at Battersea Park East. The development will transform the area between Queenstown Road Station and Battersea Park Station. The development includes retail, leisure and residential facilities as well as the expansion of St Mary’s Roman Catholic School. Volterra was brought on board to outline the economic case for the development. The application was unanimously approved by Wandsworth council.
HS2 Stoke Route in the news

HS2 Stoke Route in the news

Volterra’s work on the economic benefits of a HS2 Stoke route (first published in October) continues to make the headlines in anticipation of the Government’s final decision later this year on whether HS2 will change from a route via Crewe to one via Stoke. Our report concluded that an HS2 station in Stoke-on-Trent would result in a step change in employment and productivity in the city of a much greater magnitude that could be achieved by a Crewe station located outside its town centre. Volterra’s senior adviser Bridget Rosewell gave interviews on the subject for both BBC Radio Stoke and Signal Radio last week, and the proposals continue to make headlines in regional and national press (for full reportage see here). Read our latest press release here.
Volterra Promotions and Opportunities

Volterra Promotions and Opportunities

We’re delighted to announce some promotions within the Volterra team. Kieran Arter, who joined us last year following ten years’ experience working as a transport economist is now an Associate, whilst Lucy Dean who has worked with us since graduating from Oxford in 2013 has accepted a position as Senior Consultant. We’re also currently recruiting for a graduate economist position and accepting expressions of interest for summer internships. Read more about opportunities at Volterra here.
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Report prepared by Volterra Partners for TfL and TFGM calls for transport funding reform

Transport for London and Transport for Greater Manchester recently commissioned Volterra to produce a report looking at long term investment in transport in cities. The report investigates how the current approach to evaluating and funding transport projects is likely to lead to ‘damaging underinvestment’ and calls for more devolved decision making capabilities for cities giving them more control over the planning and building of new transport infrastructure. The report highlights a mismatch between central government’s ambition to boost jobs growth and economic prosperity in cities and the current system used to prioritise transport investment and funding. Transport is crucial to a city’s potential that in turn drives the economic growth of the country. The report goes on to recommend a new focus on a transport project’s ability to create jobs and growth and how this will pay back any original investment. The report has been met with support by other city and transport leaders from Birmingham, Leeds and Sheffield. Read the full report here.
Northern Line Extension gets the green light

Northern Line Extension gets the green light

Volterra, led by Bridget Rosewell, advised on the case for Transport for London’s Northern Line Extension (NLE) to Nine Elms and Battersea. The project was given the go-ahead by the Secretary of State for Transport earlier this month. Bridget was responsible for providing the Economic and Business Case. Her analysis showed that the NLE has the potential to deliver economic benefits worth up to £7.9 billion to the UK Economy, including 25,000 new jobs and 16,000 new homes. Overall the project has a Benefit to Cost Ratio of over 8.1 – representing excellent value for money. Bridget was also called up as an expert witness to provide evidence at the NLE public enquiry last year.

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