Lib Dems Search for New Westminster Office Space
The Liberal Democrats are reportedly searching for new office space in Westminster in order to move closer to the Houses of Parliament.
Since forming a coalition government with the Conservatives in May 2010, the Lib Dems are now seeking to vacate their Cowley Street offices (pictured, top) and occupy a single floor of office space close to Parliament, according to Property Week.
Despite currently occupying a location just half a mile away from Parliament – which averages a 4-minute car journey or a brisk 7-minute walk, according to Google Maps – the Lib Dems have already appointed property agent Glinsman Weller to dispose of their former London HQ.
The period Grade II listed property on Cowley Street, originally used by the London headquarters of the North Eastern Railway Company, is now listed on the Glinsman Weller website and is described as providing “good quality offices” located on the north side of Cowey Street, in the “heart of Westminster”.
Any future businesses or political parties looking to occupy the former workplace of one half of the coalition can look forward to more than just a claim to fame. The 5-storey property totals over 7,000 sq ft of space, with 6,600 sq ft available for office use, featuring creature comforts such as temperature-controlled rooms and kitchen facilities.
However, it comes at a price. With a rent review approaching, the property is currently up for grabs at a cost of ┬ú225,000 per annum – around ┬ú31 per sq ft – with additional rates expected at ┬ú105,570.
While a new location is yet to be announced, it can only be assumed that a move closer to the Houses of Parliament would result in a rent increase (but at least the party will be able to cut-back on half-mile taxi journeys).
Perhaps the Lib Dems should consider a serviced office to help reduce overheads?
Stats from officebroker.com show that last year, the SW1 postcode – which covers Westminster and its immediate neighbours including Whitehall and Hyde Park Corner – reached an average cost per workstation of ┬ú715 per month.
Working from an average space requirement of 70 sq ft per person, this works out at just over ┬ú10 per sq ft, a significant saving from Cowley Street’s ┬ú31 per sq ft.
In contrast to conventional lease options, a serviced office typically includes pretty much everything you need to move in and get started the very next day. Rates, cleaning bills, kitchen facilities, reception services – most of these are taken care of, which means you get much more for your money and a lot less responsibility too.
The majority of serviced offices will provide short-term rent agreements too. So if the coalition relationship turns sour and the Lib Dems decide to move back to Cowley Street, at least they won’t have to stick out an expensive office lease for years to come.
Find out more about serviced office space in Westminster online at officebroker.com.
Cowley Street image (Loz Pycock);
Houses of Parliament image (Graeme Maclean)