London SMEs ditch Tech City and Shoreditch for Clerkenwell

The data shows that from July 2016 to March 2017, Clerkenwell and Soho were the most searched for locations among SMEs, 10+ headcount, looking for new office space in London, showing a significant boost in popularity year-on-year.
Comparatively, Shoreditch was searched for by only 14 per cent of SMEs – a significant drop in popularity from July 2014 to March 2015 when it was the most popular location at 24 per cent.
The changes tie in with further data from Hubble, which shows that the number of SMEs with bigger headcounts searching for flexible office space has increased by nearly three times since Brexit. In June 2016, searches by SMEs accounted for only 8 per cent of searches on Hubble for flexible workspace in London but by January 2017 accounted for 23.9 per cent of all searches.
CEO and Co-founder of Hubble, Tushar Agarwal, said: “When we started Hubble in 2014, our marketplace helped small startups find affordable shared office space in Shoreditch and Tech City. Now we have more than 10,000 SMEs signed up, who have different priorities. These bigger companies want the vibrancy of a shared office space, but as Shoreditch rents rise, they’re looking at more central locations like Clerkenwell and Soho, with better transport links, similar prices, and their own creative vibe and buzz.
“We have seen interest grow from larger companies and SMEs that would have traditionally taken on a long-term conventional lease, but are opting for a flexible option instead where they have more control over their costs and the term they commit to. This is increasingly being seen as a hedge to the uncertainty of the London economy as Brexit unfolds, and SMEs navigate new rules around business rates. It is also a characteristic of the evolution towards a more flexible commercial property market.”