Average UK Office Rents

Location, Location, Location….

Where you opt to set up business can be determined by several factors but pretty much universally the geographic location will play a large part in the decision process. If you’re looking to rent office space in the UK how much variation is there in office space cost per square foot across the country?

Being Brighton based we are acutely aware that residential prices here are higher than the national average. But how do Brighton’s commercial rents compare to other major UK cities?

Comparing The Average Office Rents In Five UK Cities:

London: Silly prices? In February this year, the property firm JLL published its findings on a survey of office rents in cities across the world.  Hong Kong topped the global rankings with costs of $262 per square foot per year for top-quality office space, largely due to strong tenant demand and short supply. But our own dear capitol city came in second on this list – second most expensive city in the world for office rental costs. A University College London study placed average office costs per square foot per month in London at a staggering £52.50.

Brighton: With its good transport links to London and having the advantage of being right by the sea, Brighton is an appealing option for setting up your business. Having spent years ranking in the top 10 lists of happiest / coolest / trendiest / best places to live in the UK, it also has a vibrant business community. Making the top 10 again in a different list, the best places to start a business in 2016, and with the average cost of central office space coming in at £3.38 per square foot per month, it may not be the cheapest place to rent an office, but with its reputation as a creative hub and its links to London, The Centre For Cities ranked Brighton third in the UK for start-up rates.

Edinburgh: Whilst locating to Edinburgh will not give you the same summer seaside experience as down in Brighton, Edinburgh can boast to be the best city to live in the United Kingdom. With relatively high wages, affordable rents and low crime levels, plenty of green, outdoor spaces, and office rents only marginally higher than Brighton’s at £3.45  per square foot per month, going north of the border has its appeal. You also get The University of Edinburgh close by with four business incubation centres in the city. These are really active in the start-up and innovation community and provide founders with their expertise and useful advice.

Belfast: The Irish city is currently trying to encourage Tech start-ups to launch their businesses here, with a £15,000 investment incentive. As a whole, Northern Ireland is the most cost-effective region within the UK for software development. Once reliant upon shipbuilding and linen, Belfast now commands average office costs of £6.82 per square foot per month, above those of both Brighton and Edinburgh.

Manchester: In 2014 the BBC relocated 220 staff to Salford, Manchester. Jostling with Edinburgh for the most liveable place in the country, Manchester is right at the centre of the 'Northern Powerhouse'. Being just over two hours from London by train, with the UK’s largest international airport outside the capital, Manchester now receives more foreign direct investment than any city outside of London. Rental levels for prime and secondary office space in central Manchester are now almost double those of city centre Liverpool, with Grade A office space in central Manchester coming in at £34 per square foot back in 2015!

As outlined at the start of this article, location will always play its part in the prices you will be expected to pay for your office rent. Having reviewed just five UK city office space costs per square foot, we’re still mightily glad to have our office design, fitout and furniture business based in Brighton.

If we didn’t mention your city but you’re still interested you might find the Offices Rents Map of use.


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