Corporate Firms Flock to Business Cube's New London Location

Corporate Firms Flock to Business Cube's New London Location

Russel Square, Business CubeIf you're not quite convinced by the pace of London's serviced office growth, just ask Craig Haggerty, Director and co-founder of Business Cube.

Craig opened a new flexible workspace location in Russell Square three months ago, and it's already at full occupancy.

"It's been an amazing summer," said Craig. "I'm still getting calls about Russell Square. We've had so much demand, I don't even have an office anymore - we sold the space!"

Russell Square is Business Cube's sixth location, and it has easily been their most popular. Craig and his team have been inundated with calls - many of which have come from production companies and large corporate clients.

"The area is traditionally popular with publishing firms, so I was a little surprised to receive so much interest from TV and film production studios. We've had a lot of interest from high-profile firms and celebrities too - my first enquiry was from Ridley Scott's production firm."

Corporate clients

The centre was filled by five separate companies that each took a significant amount of space. Among them, Craig counts Grazia Magazine and Skanska as his new clients at Russell Square, along with a reality TV production team.

According to Craig, around 15% of their enquiries have been for large requirements of 20+ workstations. Given that much of the interest has come from corporates, it begs the question: what does it take to attract these clients?

Greater awareness of flexible workspace has certainly been a major factor. Business Cube's ability to convert enquiries into new clients is multifaceted - and Craig attributes the fact that they offer firms the freedom to tailor-make the space as a major contributor. This is a particular benefit for production companies who have specific demands with regard to studio space layout.

"We really let clients make the space their own. Also we have very light brand awareness throughout the space so ultimately our buildings don't look like serviced offices, which is important to blue chip clients."

Brokerage support

Even so, working with corporates has drawbacks.

The larger the firm, the more complex the signing-off and signing-up process. Despite a very successful launch for Russell Square, Craig admits that it has been "frustrating" at times. A number of potential occupiers came close to signing, but slipped away at the last minute due to lengthy internal approval procedures.

As for the source of enquiries, Craig attributes much of their success to serviced office brokers. Indeed, Craig started his career at Search Office Space back in 1996, when he helped set up the company as one of the industry's first brokerage firms.

"Brokers for Central London are working harder than ever, and there's a real push to deliver quality leads," he said. "It's a lot more competitive now than it ever was when I was involved. Back then, I used to fax leads to operators - the whole process took around two hours per enquiry. Now, it's just a couple of minutes.

"There's so much competition for the area. We've got so much interest, we can't generate available space quickly enough."

Indeed this has led the company to expand, and the Business Cube team is now looking at two more prospective buildings in London's EC3 area. As the BCA's MarketWatch report continues to highlight, The City is experiencing huge and growing demand for flexible workspace from businesses of all sizes. With this in mind, we look forward to tracking Craig's next venture. Even so, their impressive performance to date highlights the incredible pace of growth of the industry in London, and offers a bright perspective for the future of the sector as it continues its rapid pace of evolution.

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