Out of town business parks certainly have their place: they are often easy to access, close to motorways and have plenty of parking. However, despite their appeal, more and more businesses are choosing to relocate or expand into city centre locations. Leicester is one city centre that has experienced rising demand for commercial space from companies looking to settle in a central location.
Many cities have retained a powerful economic attraction and influence, offering facilities and opportunities that rural and suburban locations can rarely match. As a result, increasing numbers of large organisations and expanding companies are seeking city centre locations. In fact, urban locations currently account for around 59 per cent of jobs, often attracting service exporters requiring high skill levels.
So, why are people attracted to cities in general – and Leicester in particular? Well, cities do offer more potential for networking and economies of scale. They also have a larger pool of workers, usually with more diverse skills, as well as a superior infrastructure and public transport system making it easier for staff to travel to their place of work.
However, this has to be offset against higher costs (on average three and a half times more expensive than rural areas) as premises are more expensive to rent or buy. Urban areas also have more congestion, while facilities such as parking may be scarce and more expensive.
Leicester has made headlines over the past two years for positive reasons. Once a place of significance in the textile industry, the city’s profile is on the rise again after the discovery and burial of Richard III, followed swiftly by Leicester City FC’s surprise 2016 Premier League win. Both are stories that put Leicester on the map domestically and internationally.
Leicester also benefits from a central location at the heart of the Midlands, making it easily accessible to and from most places in the UK. With a train link of around one hour to London and close proximity to the M1 and other major roadways, the city’s geographical position is an attractive one for many businesses. Notably, it also has the largest economy in the East Midlands and the city and county are home to headquarters for many national companies.
Given these factors, it’s not surprising that several large companies made the decision to relocate or expand to Leicester in 2016 – and still more plan on doing the same this year. Notably, the new multi-million-pound office complex currently being constructed on New Walk will house businesses such as financial advice firm Mattioli Woods, which is moving from Grove Park in Enderby. For Mattioli Woods, the move will not only provide them with a great central presence in Leicester, it will also enable the recruitment of an additional 150 staff. Chief Executive Ian Mattioli cited the ease of transport, including the proximity of the station and other forms of public transport as one of the reasons for the move, as well as access to Leicester’s diverse business community and infrastructure.
Another example is licensing organisation Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) and PRS for Music who are setting up their national headquarters in Leicester, due to open in the latter half of 2017. According to the Leicester Mercury, the Chief Executive of PPL chose Leicester over any other UK city because of its great links to London and the rest of the country, alongside the competitive price of property and staffing costs.
The local economy is such as important part of any community and Leicester’s success in attracting investment and business growth can only be good news for the city – and its environs.
For more information about the commercial property available in Leicester, whether you’re looking for offices, industrial or retail spaces, contact the Andrew Granger commercial team:
Leicester 0116 242 9933
Loughborough: 01509 243720
Market Harborough: 01858 439090