London Office Space: Still the Best Place for Business
London has extended its reign as EuropeΓÇÖs No.1 location in which to locate a business, with the annual European Cities Monitor from Cushman & Wakefield highlighting the cityΓÇÖs transport links, ease of access to markets and the availability of qualified staff as positive reasons why a business would choose to locate its office space in the Capital.
Based on interviews with directors and senior management from the 500 largest companies in Europe, the European Cities Monitor was first conducted in 1990 and assesses which cities throughout Europe are considered to be ΓÇ£best for businessΓÇ¥ based on 12 major ranking criteria ΓÇô including the cost, quality and availability of office space.
Ranking 1st in 6 of these 12 criteria London out performed its closest rival Paris to enhance its overall position, with even the financial turmoil of the last twelve months failing to make any major impact on the appeal of setting up business premises in London.
ΓÇ£Despite the financial crisis that has gripped the world over the last few years, London has retained its position as the number one place businesses want to be in EuropeΓÇ¥ explained James Young, Head of Cushman & WakefieldΓÇÖs City Office.
ΓÇ£Ultimately this is a city that has huge cultural, geographic and language advantagesΓÇ¥ continued Young ΓÇ£although it must work hard to ensure that businesses are attracted by government policy and not over-regulated or taxed away.ΓÇ¥
But as both government and private businesses attempt to face the change imposed upon them in the wake of the financial crisis, confidence in London remains intact at present, with London rising from 4th to 2nd in the rankings since 2009 in the ΓÇ£best cities for government climateΓÇ¥ section of the Cushman & Wakefield monitor.
London did not however receive glowing recommendations from all corners of the report however, with the high cost of grade A office space, cost of staff and the cityΓÇÖs freedom from pollution all appearing much further down the scale.
But it is the location of London that appears to ultimately trump its rival European cities and secure its position in the minds of those questioned. Geographically positioned in such a way that it is able to overlap normal office hours with both the Americas and Asia, London provides exceptional access to the worldΓÇÖs markets.
This natural advantage is enhanced by the exhaustive transport links developed within the City and high concentrations of well educated workers, both of which have helped to make the city a global hub for some of the worldΓÇÖ largest brands, as Elaine Rossall, Head of Business Space Research at Cushman & Wakefield explains:
ΓÇ£As companies continue to consolidate and restructure their operations, they are finding that being in the most efficient location can have an overriding impact on the immediate success of their business in achieving its business objectives. As such, companies continue to overwhelmingly favour those cities that principally provide easy access to markets, transport infrastructure and qualified staff. London, Paris and Frankfurt continue to be ranked as the best three cities overall because they yet again score well on these individual factors.ΓÇ¥
While the office space of Central London clearly remains the ΓÇ£space to takeΓÇ¥ for businesses, other UK cities were also identified in the European Cities Monitor from Cushman & Wakefield with Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow all making it into the Top 30.
In the case of Manchester, which has seen attractive large scale developments hitting the property headlines all year ( Salford Quays, Spinningfields etc) and big name tenants such as the BBC at MediaCityUk, the cityΓÇÖs position within the ranking has risen from 16th in 2009 to 12th in 2010 ΓÇô suggesting that the changes taking place have caught the eye of business leaders and left a positive lasting impression.
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