Back to blog
Dave Carter
Dave Carter
  • 5 Minute Read
  • 17th August 2021

Top five UK locations for office space in 2021

While businesses are increasingly able to operate online, the physical location of your office can still be one of the most critical business decisions you will make. Where to locate needs to be a fully informed decision, based on a range of important needs and requirements e.g. access to your customers, transportation links, access to a strong talent pool etc.

In this article we look at the most popular UK locations for businesses taking flexible office space in 2021 and provide some top line insights on what makes these locations so appealing.

1. Office Space in London – The number one choice for businesses

London is by far the largest and most important location for flexible office space in the UK. The Capital boasts c. 1400 flexible office locations, with over 900 in Central London. London is an excellent location for businesses of all types but particularly those that are in the technology or finance industries. London has evolved into a global hub for finance and technology, which is why so many start-ups and SMEs operating within these industries decide to take office space in London. The accessibility, diversity and sheer volume of office choice makes London the number one pick for UK businesses.

Office Space in The West End

According to Office Freedom data, The West End (W1) is the most popular district for businesses seeking flexible office space in London. W1 covers multiple areas such as Marylebone, Soho, and Mayfair. W1 is split between the City of Westminster and London Borough of Camden. World famous locations such as Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street and China Town can all be found in W1.

Surrounded by hundreds of retail, entertainment, leisure and dining opportunities, The West End is home to businesses of all types including solicitors, software developers, doctors, property companies, advertising firms, financial institutions, and consultancy services. There’s a fantastic choice of flexible office space in the West Endto suit all types of business and budget.

Take a look at the wide range of West End offices available here.

Office Space in The City of London

A city in its own right, this central London area is home to The Bank of England and many other major financial institutions. The area has had a long association with trading and financial service industries, as well as international businesses of all kinds. Many insurance companies are based around the eastern side, while companies such as Coutts and Ion Trading occupy the iconic Gherkin building.

Modern, glass-plated buildings stand alongside those belonging to age-old institutions such as Mansion House, where the Lord Mayor resides. During the week, the City of London is one of the busiest places in the country, yet by the weekend the streets are almost deserted.

The City of London is perfectly set up for businesses. Offices in the City of London benefit from many high-end restaurants and coffee shops nearby and are easily accessible by the multiple transport links.

Office space in the City of London is plentiful, with offices to rent for every size and shape of business.

Take a look at some of the options for office space in the City of London here.

2. Office space in Manchester – Powerhouse of the north

Manchester is the largest city in the north-west of England and one of the most significant economic centres in the UK. With Liverpool to the west and Leeds to the northeast, Manchester is well connected to other major cities in the UK with extensive road, rail and airport links.

Manchester is a hub for businesses in the insurance, accountancy, legal and financial services sectors. In more recent times Manchester has benefitted from purpose-built business, retail and entertainment zones like Spinningfields, Media City and Salford Quays.

Office space in Manchester is plentiful, with offices to suit all types and sizes of business. There are offices to suit all budgets from luxury city centre offices to more affordable spaces just outside the centre, ideal for start-ups and cost conscious businesses.

View the range of flexible offices available in Manchester here.

3. Office space in Birmingham – The UK’s second largest city

Birmingham is the UK’s second largest city by population and is a major industrial, commercial and cultural centre in the West Midlands. Birmingham is centrally located in the heart of England and enjoys excellent road, rail and air transport links with the rest of the UK. Home to the National Exhibition Centre and the International Convention Centre, Birmingham attracts businesses of all types and sizes.

Birmingham’s accessibility is a major attraction for UK businesses. Travel to London by train is just 1hr 30mins and Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Bristol are all reachable within a similar timeframe.

Office space in Birmingham is occupied by a wealth of big brands, British food producers Bird’s Custard and HP Foods are here alongside London Midland trains. Birmingham has long been home for Britain’s car manufacturing and Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover can all be found here.

There’s a huge range of flexible office space in Birmingham from hi spec contemporary serviced offices in the heart of the central business district, to affordable office space just outside the city centre. For businesses looking for a well-connected location and great value office space, Birmingham could be the answer.

View a selection of prime office space in Birmingham here.

4. Office space in Bristol – One of the best cities for start-ups

Bristol is in the south-west of England and sits beside the River Avon, just 100 miles west of Central London. Bristol has become an important hub of activity for industries such as publishing, music, business services and is a major draw for businesses and tourists.

Bristol city centre is a vibrant and busy business location, combining old and new architecture and includes a good range of high-quality office space. Imperial Tobacco, Brightside Group and Burges Salmon LLP all have office space in Bristol. The City is certainly the economic driver of the south west and is increasingly being seen as a viable alternative business location to London.

There’s plenty of great value flexible office space in Bristol and many start-up businesses are drawn to its vibrancy and affordability. See some of the best examples here.

5. Office space in Edinburgh – One of the UK’s fastest growing tech hubs

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and one of the most visually captivating and simply spectacular cities anywhere in Europe. The city is made up of stunningly new and old architecture, as well as imposing geological features like Castle Rock, a volcanic plug right in the heart of the city.

Key business centres in the city include the Exchange District and West Edinburgh. There has also been a good deal of investment and regeneration in the Edinburgh Waterfront areas and parts of New Town.

Edinburgh is home to a high proportion of professionals and has the second strongest urban economy in the UK outside of London. Among the businesses headquartered in the Scottish capital are financial service giants like the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Aegon UK, as well as video gaming company Rockstar North and the travel search engine Skyscanner.

Business information specialist Expert Market named Edinburgh as the best UK city in which to start a business, citing speedy internet, a tech savvy talent pool and affordable office space as key reasons. The relatively small size of the city also gives new businesses ample opportunities to rub shoulders with more established firms.

Supply of flexible office space in Edinburgh is growing rapidly and there is a wide variety of serviced offices available to suit all tastes. Take a look at a selection of contemporary flexible office space in Edinburgh here.