November 21, 2017

Departure of European Medicines Agency takes 40,000 London hotel rooms with it

Oxford genetics

The EU yesterday (20 November) announced that the European Medicines Agency will relocate from its Docklands home to Amsterdam when the UK leaves the EU in 2019, taking with it around 1,000 high value jobs.

The move will, says Royds Withy King, have a devastating impact on the London hotel market, leaving some 40,000 empty hotel rooms a year.

Claus Andersen, a partner in Royds Withy King’s Life Sciences team, said: "The departure of the European Medicines Agency will leave a hole not only in our global life sciences sector, but also in the sizeable hotel market it supports.

"Each year, the Agency receives around 40,000 visitors and is responsible for a similar number of hotel bookings which will now go with it to Amsterdam."

David Israel, employment partner in Royds Withy King's Retail & Leisure team, adds: "To lose 40,000 hotel rooms effectively overnight will leave operators facing some difficult decisions. Occupancy rates, whilst high, have recently dipped given the increase in the supply of rooms, albeit revenues still remain good. The challenge for operators in today’s Brexit world is how they adapt to the changing and challenging market conditions – undoubtedly we will see significant winners and losers."

Thomas Bjørn, consultant in Royds Withy King’s Life Sciences team, adds: "The departure is a potential blow to the UK economy considering the importance of the life sciences industry. In a response earlier this year to the development, a report commissioned by the government about the life sciences industry in the UK was issued. Hopefully, the recommendations in the report will assist the UK life sciences industry in continuing being at forefront of global life science."

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