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Dave Carter
Dave Carter
  • 5 Minute Read
  • 17th August 2021

3 of the Best Areas for Scale-Up Creative Companies in London 2021

London is one of the world’s leading cities for creative industries and attracts talent from all over the world. It’s estimated that one in six jobs in London are part of the creative economy and the creative industry contributes around £47 billion to it each year.

In this article we look at why creative scale-up companies have chosen London as their base, which areas attract them and the sorts of office space they choose.

What are the key workspace requirements for creative scale-ups?

In the scale-up phase, creative companies need an environment in which they can grow and are proud to call home. Above all they seek opportunities to grow.

In London, it’s estimated that there are nearly 883,000 creative jobs. The proportion of creative jobs in London is twice as many as those in any other UK city. Good connections with the creative talent pool and related services are a distinct advantage for ambitious creative scale-up businesses. Consequently, we see creative companies thronging together in key locations in the West End, North London and south of the river.

Creative companies want good transport links, workspaces with plenty of natural light and cool, comfortable collaborative environments where the creative juices can flow. Nearby amenities such as popular restaurants, bars and cafes are essential as are the amenities provided in the office. Serviced offices and coworking spaces with break out areas, event space, meeting rooms, outside space, gyms, bike racks and coffee bars are all in high demand by the creative community.

So where are the three best areas for scale-up creative companies in London?

1. Soho – London’s creative hub

Soho is surely London’s most eclectic and colourful district. Set in the West End, measuring about one square mile, Soho has a rich history of music, art, night life and adult entertainment. In more recent years it has become a hub for the LBGT community.

Soho has a long history synonymous with the music industry, launching Jazz in the UK in the 1940s, and giving life to rock n roll in the 1950s. Recording studios like Trident Studios are in Soho, where The Beatles, Queen, David Bowie and Elton John have all cut world famous tracks.

Creative, media and digital companies thrive in Soho due to its fast paced, exciting environment and the droves of young workers that it attracts. According to research by Westminster Council 23% of the workforce in Soho works in creative industries, making it one of the most creative square miles in the world.

Serviced offices in Soho

Flexible workspaces such as serviced offices, (short- or medium-term rental offices that are fully furnished and ready to move into), are the preferred choice of growing creative businesses that don't want to be burdened with onerous and expensive long-term leases.

Soho has a huge variety of workspaces ideal for creative scale-ups. From small affordable coworking spaces to fully serviced feature-packed private offices, Soho has something for everyone.

Many of the serviced offices in Soho have inspirational designs, with 24/7 access, breakout areas, on-site cafes, roof terraces, bike racks, gyms and a Reception Team - perfect for a creative scale-up business.

This affordable flexible workspace in Wardour Street is perfect for creative scale-ups. It’s located in the beating heart of Soho and offers coworking space and private offices. There’s ample breakout space, soft furnishings and has micro-roasted coffee and fresh fruit included. You can even bring your pet to keep you company.

If you are looking for a fully featured serviced office in Soho then this pet friendly serviced office in Broadwick Streetis hard to beat. How does a roof terrace, event space, gym, bike racks, coffee lounge, library and membership benefits programme sound? And you even have access to fully equipped on site podcast recording studios. All core amenities are covered within one simple monthly all-inclusive cost.

View a selection of serviced offices in Soho here.

2. Camden – Canals, Commerce and Creativity

Located just to the North of Central London, Camden is a vibrant district famed for its youthful appeal, live music scene and multicultural population. The canal running through Camden Lock and the world-famous market attracts millions of visitors each year.

According to private equity investment firm Growthdeck, Camden ranks first out of 391 areas in the UK for new business creation. Camden has been attracting creative companies for many years particularly those related to the fashion and music industries. Camden represents a more affordable option than Soho but has easy access to the centre of town and a strong community feel.

Serviced offices in Camden

Scale-up creative companies have a wide choice of flexible office space in Camden. For example this affordable flexible workspace adjacent to Camden Road station provides a cool, cutting edge environment with three meeting rooms, fitted kitchen, breakout area and bespoke furniture. The artistic design and cool vibe is perfect for creatives to thrive.

For those seeking the flexibility of private office, coworking and hot desking options, these bright and airy offices in Hawley Crescent might be just the ticket. Moments from Camden Town tube, the workspace is set in a modern office building with a friendly and collaborative working environment for growing creative businesses of all sizes. All offices are fully serviced and feature several meeting rooms, comfortable breakout areas and the latest IT technology.

View a selection of serviced offices in Camden here.

3. Southwark – The creative community in the shadow of The Shard

The London Borough of Southwark is situated across the river from The City of London and is thought to be the oldest borough in South London. Southwark is home to some iconic London landmarks including The Imperial War Museum, HMS Belfast, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and The Shard – the UK’s tallest building.

Businesses located here find themselves at the centre of a bustling community. There are already over 19,300 businesses in Southwark and its railway stations see around 254 million people pass through each year. Alongside corporate giants such as EY, HSBC and IBM there is a growing creative and agency community.

Many creative companies are clustered in the shadow of the Shard, north of Borough station and to the east of Southwark tube. Scale-up creative companies are choosing Southwark because of its excellent connectivity and access to talent. Southwark has seven underground and twelve overground stations. There are lots of bridges crossing over the Thames, including Southwark Bridge, Tower Bridge, Millennium Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge and Waterloo Bridge.

Thames Clippers operate frequent river bus services for those preferring to travel under the bridges.

Access the top new creative talent

Every year local universities are developing strong arts talent. The University of the Arts London has two colleges in the Borough. The London College of Communication has 5,000 students and specialises in teaching animation, advertising, photography film and graphic design. Camberwell College of Arts, one of the foremost art and design institutions, offers degrees in Fine Art, painting, sculpting and drawing. These institutions are producing fresh talent in Southwark and the creative businesses located here are getting first pick of the graduates leaving college.

Serviced offices in Southwark

Southwark has a tremendous choice of flexible serviced offices, ideal for creative scale-ups. Borough market is a very popular location within Southwark and is a magnet for food lovers and creatives. This contemporary flexible office space on Borough High Street offers flexible rental agreements for expanding companies and includes a host of desirable facilities within the all-inclusive price. Residents can enjoy private office or coworking space, breakout space, a gym and fitness room and a gorgeous roof terrace with stunning views across London.

This serviced office in Blackfriars Road is a contemporary remodelling of a Victorian property and offers an affordable Southwark base for a growing creative business. The office is a short walk from Waterloo station and includes access to executive conference suites, an on-site gym, showers, bike racks, high speed internet and Sky TV.

View a selection of serviced offices in Southwark here.