The vast majority of London businesses believe they’ve got the best business location in the world, while only 1% believe they will have left the capital by the end of the decade.
That’s according to the latest London Boardroom Barometer by London First and Deloitte. Their researchers surveyed 150 CEOs and senior partners to find out the big issues affecting London businesses. Those participating in the survey covered a wide variety of sectors, including financial and business services, TMT, public services and production.
86% of the businesses surveyed describe themselves as “absolutely committed to remaining in London”, while a further 13% believe that they will still be based in London in 2020. Only 1% of those surveyed believed that their organisation will have left London for an alternative business base by 2020.
It seems that while regional cities like Birmingham and Manchester continue to position themselves as a viable alternative to London, businesses already based in the capital are not considering anywhere else – even as the cost of living and working in the capital increases.
But that isn’t to say there isn’t room for improvement. Among the businesses surveyed, improving transport infrastructure was named as high priority for making London even more competitive.
And while the HS2 link to Birmingham and Manchester was described as one of the “most beneficial” major transport projects by 11% of London businesses, 74% believed that the Crossrail 2 project would be good for business. 70% were also keen to see improvements to the existing London Underground system and 57% believed that increasing the capacity of commuter rail services into Central London would play a crucial role in boosting business within the capital.
With high living costs proving the most significant barrier to hiring a skilled workforce (71% of businesses highlighted it as a major issue), and workers living ever further from their Central London office, it’s not surprising that bosses would like to make it easier to commute into the capital.
London businesses might want to recruit locally, but improving the means for doing business internationally was also a concern. 49% of businesses were in favour of expansion at Heathrow, while 36% would like to see an additional runway at Gatwick.
London’s transport infrastructure might need some work but overall the business case for locating here is strong. This is why, despite commanding the highest office prices in the UK, businesses continue to call it home and 86% wouldn’t dream of looking anywhere else.
Would you ever consider moving your business away from London? What keeps you in the capital?