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News Release


Demand from Creative SMEs Props up Bristol Office Market

New figures reveal highest take up of refurbished office space since start of recession


Bristol, 24 April 2013 - Despite an overall drop in take-up of commercial office space in 2012, the market was, and continues to be, propped up by creative SMEs looking for refurbished, contemporary space.

A report by Jones Lang LaSalle reports that, although overall take-up last year dropped by four per cent, the second-hand market reported a 30 per cent increase, the highest take-up of refurbished office space recorded since the start of the recession in 2009.

In terms of both total floor area taken and quantity of transactions, the most active sector was from technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) companies attracted to contemporary, creative refurbished space.
This trend has continued into 2013 with four deals secured since the start of the year.

Steve Lane, Surveyor, Jones Lang LaSalle commented: “How we view the success of the market is usually judged by  major office transactions , but the performance of the underlying day-to-day deals gives a different perspective and this should give us reason to be optimistic for what 2013 holds.”

A hub of activity for example is Bath Road Studios, the refurbished ITV building on Bath Road, has proved popular with growing creative companies looking for inexpensive but contemporary space from 300 sq ft.
Ladies and children fashion company, Rudolf Stein, has just signed a 5 year deal taking 1,734 sq ft plus additional storage space. The company will join existing tenants Hurricane Media, Wilder Street Studios, Colour & Thing, ITV West Country, Bath Spa University Media Department, The Pilates Studio and Signal Networks.

Next month Bath Road Studios is launching The Set, 2,000 sq ft of collaborative space which offers the ultimate answer to professionals looking to work in a creative community.

The Set aims to meet the current demand from creative SMEs in Bristol and those from further afield who are looking to move to the city, and is suited to smaller companies or individuals.

Its collaborative base removes the isolation of working from home, while offering an innovative space where professionals can meet other like-minded creatives.

For a monthly subscription fee, members can access desk and meeting room space, printers, super-fast broadband, a kitchen and break-out areas.
Elsewhere the Bristol & Bath Science Park is bucking the trend, with around 70 per cent of space in the Innovation Centre now let plus a host of lettings at Paintworks and Temple Studios.

The On Point Bristol Office Market Report predicts that the overall demand outlook for 2013 is not expected to change radically but, based on the number of enquiries already within the market, it is expected that commercial property take-up will increase in the order of 550,000 sq ft by the end of the year.

Ian Wills, director, Jones Lang LaSalle’s National Office Agency team, said: “Although the UK economic recovery remains patchy, there is some cause for optimism in the regional offices sector. Consumer income is reviving and as a result, regional office employment is expected to pick up from 2014 onwards, leading to an increase in demand for office space.”