North-South Divide No Barrier for Yorkshire-Based BCA Member

North-South Divide No Barrier for Yorkshire-Based BCA Member

Ergon House, LondonIf you want to know how to successfully bridge Britain's North-South divide, one Yorkshire-based operator can show the way.

BCA Member Prospect Business Centres, which launched the first serviced office in Leeds in 1980, has just opened its second serviced office in Central London this year and announced a £2million expansion plan.

"Our expansion into the capital in November 2011 has been a great success," said managing director Charlie Cudworth. "We have been looking for exactly the right building to add to our portfolio for some time, as we have seen occupancy rates of over 90 per cent since we opened there."

Soaring levels of demand for flexible workspace in Central London is nothing new. We have seen continued high performance, increasing occupancy and rising rental values from operators in specific locations across the capital, as highlighted by the BCA's MarketWatch reports. However in recent months, Leeds has also shown an improvement in key performance indicators.

So what's the buzz in London?

The city's economy has outstripped the rest of the UK in recent years, which is fuelling a sustained surge in demand for short and medium term workspace. Other factors include a high - and growing - concentration of startups, while greater awareness of flexible workspace continues to intensify demand for Central London.

Indeed, growing awareness of the flexible benefits of serviced offices, combined with its ability to appeal to businesses of all sizes across a huge range of purposes, is bringing an ever-diversifying range of prospective clients to the doors of business centre operators.

New occupiers at Prospect's Ergon House include public sector clients, Government departments and corporates. According to Charlie, these firms require the flexibility to grow or reduce their property overheads as necessary, and the agility of flexible workspace - either as a long-term solution or a short-term project or satellite office - is playing directly into the hands of workspace operators.

“We have sold over half of the space ahead of our opening,” added Charlie.

Such is the level of demand that Prospect Business Centres has invested £2million into its new Westminster location, and is seeking a possible further expansion in London over the coming year.

"The occupancy levels and demand are higher in London than elsewhere at present and we are continuing to investigate opportunities in prime central locations" he added.

London is often described as a different world when it comes to flexible workspace, and we continue to see enormous progress made by business centre operators in the city. Of course the capital is not the only location displaying positive performance indicators, as many other cities across the UK such as Leeds and Manchester are experiencing positive results and increased optimism. Indeed as Prospect Business Centres has shown, the old North-South divide is no barrier to business growth, or to the evolution of our industry as a whole.

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