With Omnicom the latest to make the move to SE1, the media and creative sector’s shift towards Southwark shows no signs of slowing down.
The advertising giant is to take 2 and 3 Bankside, comprising a total of 370,000 sq ft of Grade A office space. Together with 1 Bankside, the two buildings were designed by Allies and Morrison and are collectively known as 123 Bankside.
Ongoing redevelopment work by Land Securities over the last few years has transformed the area into a bustling destination for the 21st-century, with a mix of shops, cafés, restaurants, and other cultural venues standing alongside offices.
The arts and cultural aspects of the South Bank are likely to have lured Omnicom to the area: their new offices are within a short stroll of the Tate Modern, with Shakespeare’s Globe and the Jerwood Space among the many other cultural attractions nearby.
The move is part of a new phase for Omnicom, following the collapse of merger negotiations with Publicis, which would have seen the creation of the world’s largest advertising agency. As the company looks to the future, it has already signed a major deal with Twitter. Relocating its European operation from Old Marylebone Road, at the heart of the West End, is part of this new era.
Omnicom’s relocation is further proof that the shift towards Southwark is still going strong among the media and creative industry.
The rising prices of office space across the West End has driven media and creative firms to look for alternatives to Soho and Noho, but it is not the only factor driving the sector towards the South bank which is fast becoming a new cluster for the industry.
Other media and creative giants moving to SE1 include Ogilvy & Mather, who will bid adieu to Canary Wharf in favour of Sea Containers House later this year. Meanwhile, News Corp chose the Baby Shard for its relocation from Wapping, while Al Jazeera opted to take space in the Shard itself.
As the area continues to gain in popularity for larger media companies, it looks likely that increasing numbers of smaller agencies will follow suit. Already, the range of business space available is evolving to meet the needs of creative and media companies, helping to make the locale more desirable still.
Will the march of the media agencies to Southwark continue? Share your thoughts in the comments.