Southwark ‘s Popularity in the Flexible Workspace Market

Over the centuries, London has expanded rapidly to accommodate the ever growing community of not only those living in the city but the numerous businesses that are constantly developing within the capital.

Many areas which were once just unloved wasteland have received an impressive breath of life as resources, materials and skills have also developed. In the modern day, one of the most impressive regeneration efforts comes from the area just south of the River Thames known as Southwark.

A Little Bit of Background

Not so many years ago, the South Bank’s main use was as a transportation port. From here, bundles would sail up and down the river delivering goods across the country. Retail premises, office blocks and leisure centres were exclusively for popular business hubs and residential areas such as the City and the West End.

However, just as the City spilled into fringe areas such as Shoreditch, thanks to cheaper rents and an individual style, people soon began to look to other areas for business opportunities. Being little competition in the Southwark area, rents were cheap and although the neighbourhood wasn’t immediately attractive, a touch of individuality goes a long way.

Many independent retailers soon set up in the area bringing unique places to socialise, rare foods in quirky street vans and handmade goods or individual finds across energised markets. And, as more culture appeared in the region, more money came in to fund its regeneration.

Southwark as a Business Hub

Since this, the area has continued to grow, attracting more and more business. Beautiful pieces of architecture including London’s tallest building, The Shard have given Southwark its place on the skyline as well as confirming its status as a serious home for business.

Shard London Bridge studio office space in london

While offering the highest viewing point in the city, the Shard is one of the most famous business addresses in the world. Global brands such as Tiffany & Co run their UK operations from the 95 story skyscraper while flexible workspace provider, The Office Group bring smaller companies the opportunity to occupy an incredible business address.

Talking of flexible workspace providers, developments in the Southwark area have attracted many big name suppliers to the region. Southwark has features of a contemporary, diverse and evolving market much like the flexible workspace model – no surprise then that so many new centres have appeared in the area over the last couple of years.

Within the past two years alone, well know workspace providers including WeWork, The Office Group, The Boutique Workplace Company, Citibase, One Avenue and BE Offices as well as luxury new comers Fora Space, The Ministry and Kitt Technologies have all opened one or more grade-A workspaces in the SE1 area.

One Avenue – Southwark Street

As a workspace provider focused around incredible hospitality, 5 star fit outs and unique business environments, it is not hard to see why One Avenue’s Southwark Street centre fits so beautifully into the newly sought-after neighbourhood of Southwark.

The tech focused space covers five floors of impressively high quality workspace – a gift to the popular and developing area.

Lounge Area One Avenue

Warming fire places, a stress-relieving games room, an events space – complete with a bar of course, plus many impressive hideaways and relaxing corners create the perfect environment for maximum productivity.

WeWork – York Road

Describing itself as an ‘urban work-lifestyle campus’, this centre offers so much more than just a space to house your laptop. It’s an inclusive hub that allows members to take care of their wellbeing, keep fit and get something nutritious to eat. Plus its pet friendly too so you can work all day without leaving your furry friend alone. It really is a home away from home.

WeWork York Road Lounge

Being on bankside also means some of London’s most iconic landmarks are visible from the desk. And, when the London Eye is one of your closest neighbours, inspiration is never far away. Move inside and the motivation continues. One of a kind murals, and a little complimentary coffee are on hand to see the team through the day.

The Ministry – Borough Road

Once known as the Dairy House, this beautiful 6-storey, 19th century factory building today boasts refurbished interiors that tastefully combine a contemporary feel with a historic structure.

Aiming to attract creative companies, the centre has just about every amenity a business could wish for onsite. There is a 75 ft. bar, an onsite garden, a cinema, events spaces, an immersive tech studio and soundproofed rooms. It’s the perfect spot for those who entertain – whether in the media business, tech industry, music lovers or simply love to host a good event, there is nowhere better equipped than Ministry on Borough Road.

Southwark Office Market – The Facts and Figures

According to the latest report by Savills, the office market in the SE1 area has continued to grow from strength to strength throughout 2019.

In Q1, several corporate occupiers secured workspace in the area, six of which signed for space over 30,000 sq. ft. Q1 also presented a promising level of workspace demand, with 38 enquiries being for space over 25,000 sq. ft.

Another interesting fact from the Savills report was concerning the industries occupying Southwark’s workspaces. ‘The technology sector continues to be the most active business sector in the market, accounting for 40% of workspace take up in Q1 2019. After strong demand from the flexible office sector in 2018, it was expected that the sector would be less active in 2019. However, the sector has continued to acquire space in Q1 2019, it accounted for 20% of take-up across the whole market.

This finding aligns with earlier discussions around the type of workspace providers who have launched and thrived in the area.

Entertainment and Culture in Southwark

Although on first impressions Southwark may seem like a recently, man-made region, in fact Southwark is one of the oldest parts of the city and there is plenty of history woven into its modern image.

Built in 1886, Tower Bridge is possibly the most iconic of London’s famous bridges. Guided tours of the Tower offer a remarkable insight into the inner workings of the Victorian engine rooms. And, if a great view is what you’re after, the high-level walkways complete with glass floors provide beautiful sights.

Tower Bridge

Looking to take your client out for a spot of culture? Head over to Shakespeare’s Globe. This mock Shakespearean playhouse allows visitors to discover the interiors that provided Shakespeare the inspiration to write his world famous plays. Or, if art is more your thing why not visit the stunning Tate Modern? The galleries display British artworks that date as far back as 1500 alongside stunning pieces of international and contemporary art.

Once you’ve done exploring the neighbourhood theatres and galleries, head over to the region’s famous Borough Market. It is London’s most renowned food and drink market with a whole host of British and international produce. We think that Neil’s Yard Dairy is especially worth a visit.

Overall Southwark offers a charming contrast of traditional and trendy, where historic monuments sit harmoniously amongst modern art and food venues. It is a real pleasure to both work and visit the delights of Southwark from Borough to Bermondsey.