Demand booming for flexible workspace

Entrepreneurs are looking outside London for flexible office space, with Liverpool and Manchester leading the list of the best value locations in the UK according to new research that shows demand for serviced office space is booming.

Demand for start-up office space has increased by almost a quarter over the past year, with the number of entrepreneurs looking for desk space in Liverpool increasing by almost 45 per cent, closely followed by Manchester, which has been identified in a separate survey as the number one city outside London to start a business.

The research shows that demand for flexible space has also increased in London, despite businesses in the capital currently paying an average of £512 a month for a serviced office, almost three times what entrepreneurs would pay in Liverpool.

According to separate research from the Startup Cities Index, desk space in Manchester costs £239 a month, half what it would cost in London, while the cheapest city in England for office space is Stoke-on-Trent, which only costs an average of £175 per desk per month.

A spokesman for the firm that undertook the office space research predicted that London will reach “boiling point” in terms of demand, which will eventually outstrip supply. This will almost certainly mean that entrepreneurs will look elsewhere.

He added that northern cities seem to be the most tempting for start-ups, with Manchester in particular attracting entrepreneurs in large numbers, closely followed by Liverpool. As he pointed out, with an investment of more than £7bn for the north of England, as set out in the Autumn Statement, and with rents in London increasing, this could be the beginning of a start-up exodus to the north.

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