Is London getting too expensive to do business in? That's the question many major companies are asking as city rental rates skyrocket and making a move north becomes a more appealing prospect.
With rents hitting £67.50 per square foot in the City and £125 in the West End, it's no surprise many major companies are eyeing moves north, most notably to Greater Manchester where rents average £34 for the same space. Companies can then look at using fit out companies such as Saracen Interiors to design and create a top class office space rivaling those in London.
While some companies are looking at moving out of the city and into the suburbs, with areas like Bromley and Croydon popular due to their proximity, others would rather make more drastic moves,
and move right away from the capital and up north.
As Michael Hawkins, national offices director at Colliers in Manchester, said recently, "If you are moving out of central London you might as well look at other city centres." And that is precisely what many companies are doing, looking at other city centres, like those in the north.
Colliers is known to be handling several major enquiries on the part of major firms, and Midas, a major investment agency, has also confirmed the reports, though they have naturally declined to name the companies.
Cost-effective services are another prominent reason why Greater Manchester is looking so enticing to big firms, as is the fact that around 70 percent of its university graduates stay in the city which provides a skilled workforce. "You can get a lawyer in Manchester for half the price of London," says Andrew McFarlane of Colliers Northwest.
What's more, Manchester's infrastructure is more modern and reliable than that in the capital, and there is no shortage of office space that is far more cost-effective than what's on offer in and around London. Is it any wonder many major companies are eyeing a move north?