Thames Valley May Benefit from Economic Re-Think
As the UK emerges from recession the desire to broaden its economic base will lead to a focus on high-end, value-added science, technology and research ΓÇô this is the opinion expressed by property firm Lambert Smith Hampton in the Thames Valley Office Market Report 2010, highlighting the office space of the Thames Valley as the ideal location to benefit from this shiny new horizon.
Thames Valley, an area which has historically attracted a range of technology based companies to its office space, counting global leaders such as Microsoft amongst its local tenants, also enjoyed an influx of high-tech businesses during the DotCom boom. Despite the subsequent DotCom crash the office space of the Thames Valley remained attractive to tech-led businesses, with internet providers such as Sun Microsystems and Cisco taking up occupancy in what had by then become the UKΓÇÖs answer to Silicon Valley.
So if this shift in the economic focus does occur, what will it mean for the office space market of the Thames Valley that has benefited so much from technology firms seeking office space in the past? Well according to Lambert Smith Hampton the previous ΓÇ£boomsΓÇ¥ for office space in the area are unlikely to be repeated:
ΓÇ£While weΓÇÖre not anticipating a tsunami of demand like we saw in the technology-filled 1980s, 90s and 00s, we are forecasting growth in entrepreneurial and ΓÇÿvalue-addΓÇÖ businesses to meet future economic aspirations. This demand can be seen alive and kicking in Guildford, with Surrey Satellite TechnologyΓÇÖs planning application for 58,000 sq ft of additional space, and Lionhead StudiosΓÇÖ
Despite the report also highlighting that the slowdown in the Thames Valley office market, which began in 2008/9, has continued into 2010, areas such as Guildford are picked out – with the demand for office space described as ΓÇ£alive and kickingΓÇ¥.
Additional research into the office space market of the South West, which includes the Thames Valley area, suggests the serviced office market has fared better. In the Serviced Office Review: South East Q2 2010 from officebroker.com the number of businesses entering serviced offices throughout the region was shown to have increased by 15% in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the same period of 2009. Workstation price, requirement and license length was also shown to have increased.