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News Release


Office rents in Exeter need to rise to stimulate development and encourage inward investment

E​XETER, 3 June 2015- Exeter is experiencing an unprecedented demand for high quality office space that must be met to maximise growing interest from businesses looking to invest in the city, according to leading property consultancy JLL.

Speaking at Invest in Exeter’s launch tomorrow (June 4), the first event to be held at the new Exeter Science Park Centre, Andrew Pearce, director at JLL`s Exeter office agency team, will say that the city has good reason to be optimistic about the future.

However, he will say that with construction cost inflation at record levels rents need to rise to stimulate development.

Andrew PearcePearce says: “There is active unsatisfied demand for new quality office space and this needs to be met to maximise growing inward investment opportunities.

“In Exeter we have seen unprecedented demand levels with some 400,000 sq ft of active requirements in the last 12 months or so and interestingly the average size required is between 15,000 and 20,000 sq ft. I would describe 50% of this demand as being potential inward investment for Exeter.”

The event marks the launch of Invest in Exeter, a campaign led by Exeter City Council to encourage inward investment and economic growth.

Exeter needs new office product out of town where there are plenty of consented and serviced sites but it also needs a big city centre opportunity similar to The Senate – to which JLL Exeter has recently relocated - in size specification and location, says Pearce.
Consented sites out of town can deliver around 750,000 sq ft on schemes like Exeter Business Park, Skypark and Exeter Gateway. In addition the Science Park has really gained momentum, says Pearce.

Pearce adds that the growth in the digital and TMT sectors has been dramatic over the last few years, with the recent Tech Nation report highlighting Exeter as an ‘emerging cyber city’. The Science Park Centre has been developed as a hub for fast-growth businesses in the science and tech sector and the Science Park will also be home to the new £97million Met Office Supercomputer.
Businesses in these sectors will seek to benefit from opportunities to collaborate and form partnerships with the Met Office, driving up interest in the city further, says JLL.

Pearce adds: “I really do think the future is good for businesses looking to invest in Exeter.

“The favourable cost of living and working in Exeter when compared to London and other regional cities, with lower house prices and office rents  and senior management salaries that still retain talent but are commensurately less for employers, make it a truly viable alternative for those looking to potentially relocate.”