The average Central London desk will cost you £670 per month. So where do you start your search if you want commercial office space close to the heart of the city without the (typical) London prices?
We’re going to let you in on a secret… London doesn’t have to be expensive, you just need to know where to look. Here’s our guide to the best commercial space for rent in London that is perfect for more modest budgets and won’t take you beyond zones 1 and 2 on the tube.
Download our data-driven rent guides for a snapshot of London’s office rental landscape, and find and compare the cost of offices in different areas of London (beyond zones 1 and 2).
We’re looking at all points of the London compass to find great value office space. But whether that’s north, south-east or west, you’ll find everything that follows is still pretty central.
We may not be talking about the actual GPS centre of London (which is somewhere on the Victoria Embankment). But we are talking central enough so that your visiting clients won’t look out of the window and wonder why they’re in Croydon.
Private office or fixed desks?
For the purposes of this post, we’re avoiding hot desks, although if that’s the right route for you, you can find some astonishing value across the city. Here’s just a sample of some low cost options.
Instead, we’re focusing on private offices and fixed desks available for the budget-friendly price of £250 or less per person per month. We’re not just focusing on solo enterprises here either – not least because often, the bigger the team, the greater the per person savings.
Not sure which type of office is right for your business? Check out this easy-to-follow flowchart that cuts out the jargon and helps you understand the different options.
Rent office space in Central London
The beauty of basing yourself right in the centre is that there’s a tube stop every 50(ish) ft, an exciting new place to grab lunch or entertain clients around every corner, and that inescapable feeling that whatever ‘happening’ is, it’s happening all around you.
And yet even here, there are bargains to be found:
Gray’s Inn Desks
Where? WC1X, London
What? Not only great value at under £200 for a fixed desk but also smack in the heart of the city, with Chancery Lane tube station just 5 minutes away. The bills are included, and so is the communal meeting room. Best of all, the minimum rental term is just 1 month. So if you’re starting up and want to test the water to find whether renting commercial office space in central London is right for you, this makes it easy.
Friendly Office in the Heart of Victoria
Where? Er, it’s a friendly office in the heart of Victoria, SW1W
What? Your £250 gets you a fixed desk on the doorstep of Westminster and a short stroll to Hyde Park Corner. Oh, and you’ll be overlooking Buckingham Palace. Of more practical relevance, the Wi-Fi is included, as are all your utilities.
There are 17 fixed desks in total. Availability fluctuates, but it does mean that basing yourself here gives you the potential to grow a small team around you.
Find affordable commercial office space in North London
North London is booming right now, so it’s hardly the place you’d expect to find cheap commercial office space. But the level of development across the borough has meant that even offices in prime locations have had to lower prices to stay competitive.
Which is good news for you.
We’ve drawn a circle round the Camden, Mornington Crescent and Regent’s Park areas to find these gems, ideal for growing teams.
The Vineyards Business Centre
Where? NW1, Camden Town
What? This low-level, red-brick office complex pairs cosy office space with loads of natural light. Choose a larger office here and fill it with ten members of your team and you’ll pay £250 per person per month, which, considering you’ve got Camden Market a few minutes’ stroll away and Regent’s Canal Towpath on your doorstep (great if you want a lunchtime run), is something of a steal.
Your nearest Tube stop is 6 minutes away and, just in case your team are driving in from outer London or beyond, there’s on-site parking.
Rent cheap commercial space in South London
Considering they’re the next stops east from Tower Bridge on the Jubilee Line, there’s a big drop-off in price when you choose office space in Bermondsey and Canada Water compared with more obviously fashionable Borough. There you’ll pay an average of £632 pp pm for your office. In Bermondsey, the average is £123. In Canada Water, it’s an even more attractive £106.
The savings don’t have to mean compromise either. There’s still leafy greenery in the lovely Southwark Park (which sits right between the two areas). There are impressive eateries in either location. And the budget prices don’t mean settling for any less when it comes to the office environment.
Workspace – The Biscuit Factory
Where? SE16, Bermondsey
What? Impressively affordable if you’re choosing an office just for yourself; staggeringly good value when you bring your team (and you can bring up to 74 of them), The Biscuit Factory is a whopper of a space that’s full of character, light and neat design flourishes.
There’s event space, a gym, 24-hour access and you’re just 5 minutes from Bermondsey tube station.
City Business Centre – St Olav’s Court
Where? SE16, Canada Water
What? Bring 20 of your team to the City Business Centre and you’ll be paying little more than £100 per person per month for them. Prices don’t increase much when your team’s smaller either. For your money you get brilliant connections – you’re just 4 minutes’ walk from Rotherhithe and Canada Water tube stations. Southwark Park is over the road. And foodies rejoice – from Canada Water Café to GreenZen Poke and Matcha Bar, there are plenty of eateries worth investigating.
Rent low-cost commercial offices in West London
You’ll find the lowest-priced commercial office rentals in West London in Wimbledon, but as that breaks the promise that we would stay within tube zones 1 and 2, we’ve opted for Shepherd’s Bush. It’s traditionally an area of high spec commercial spaces with prices to match, but you can still find the occasional surprise.
Creative Studio/Office in Shepherds Bush
Where? W12, Shepherd’s Bush
What? Not just a commercial office, but a piece of history. This building used to be the BBC’s social club. Downstairs is a hub for upcoming artists. Upstairs it’s a great base for creatives with a sound studio, editing suite, podcasting room and more. And you can have a fixed desk here for the impressively affordable sum of £200 pm.
Find cheap commercial space to rent in East London
The lowest rents in the east, whilst staying reasonably central, are in Limehouse, but even areas with pricier averages such as Shadwell are just sufficiently off the beaten track to offer some impressive bargains, such as:
SPS House – Shadwell
Where? E1W, Shadwell
What? You can move a team of 20 into a private office here for just £2,000 per month. Fixed desks are great value too at £175. Shadwell tube station is 4 minutes away. The meeting rooms are free, which is always a bonus. But best of all is the location. A grade 2 listed building, with views of the river and the city, it really is an inspirational base.
Where? E14, Limehouse
What? Hone workspaces are designed for craftspeople and creatives (which means you can expect lots of natural light). The private offices offer room for up to 6 or up to 20, and you won’t need to pack the space full of people to bring the price in under £250 per person per month.
Our team of property experts are all about matching the right business with the right commercial office space. If you’re a startup, take a look at our best value offices curated specially for you. And if you want to start your own London-wide search, grab a coffee and dive in.