There has been talk lately that large corporate businesses, and many SMEs too, are snubbing Central London in favour of other regional cities around the UK. The reason? London is too expensive, too congested, and too hot for some businesses to handle.
True, London office space is typically more expensive than regional city offices, which is to be expected. And with the ongoing fragile state of the economy, more businesses than ever before are indeed seeking ways to cut costs and remain profitable in an ever-changing and challenging environment.
But if you thought that businesses were leaving London in their droves in search of office space elsewhere, think again.
Take Amazon for instance. Just a couple of weeks ago we celebrated the London borough of Holborn, Amazon’s office location of choice, and hailed it as one of the capital’s best business locations. Now, the tech and online retail giant is expanding its office space in Holborn and is set to relocate several hundred employees from their offices in Slough, before the end of the year.
Amazon is set to redevelop the new space, which will accommodate over 1,600 staff upon completion – with the first phase set to conclude later this year. The company also launched a new Digital Media Development Centre at an office in Barbican last year.
That’s a considerable reversal on the trend of businesses moving out of central London, don’t you think? And Amazon isn’t the only firm growing its business in London.
The capital’s TMT industry (technology, media and telecommunications) seems to be booming. The FT reports that a growing number of TMT businesses have expanded into Central London over the past 18 months, most notably into The City – an interesting choice given that the Square Mile is commonly reserved for financial firms. Fringe areas such as Shoreditch and Farringdon are proving popular with TMT firms, and many are choosing to relocate to office space there from outer London locations.
Among the major deals noted are Skype and multinational PR firm Weber Shandwick, both of which have recently taken space at Waterhouse Square (pictured), again in Holborn. Tech giant Oracle has moved into 1 South Place in Moorgate, and online payment firm WorldPay has taken 98,000 sq ft at The Walbrook Building in The City.
We could go on. And on. Suffice to say, Central London office space is more attractive than ever, and it seems that for every business that moves out of the capital, there are three more ready to move in. Is it just us, or is London’s office space market really hotting up?
Find out more about flexible office space in Central London online at LondonOffices.com.
Thanks to Deyan Marzev for the image of Waterhouse Square.