Startups and SMEs ditch Tech City for the Southbank

Varun Bhanot
Varun Bhanot|Updated January 23rd 2019

As with our revelations from previous years, we are pleased to announce some surprising new findings based on our proprietary data. Our latest search data shows startups and growing SMEs are leaving typical tech hotspots, Shoreditch and Soho, for south of the river.

The data can be seen in this dedicated heat map we’ve made here:

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This data shows London Bridge (29% of all searches) is the most popular location in London for companies searching for flexible office space in 2018 (a sharp rise from 3.7% of searches in 2017), beating Shoreditch with only 27% of all searches.

More than 37% of searches were for office space in south London, counting London Bridge and the Southbank (8.5%).  The boost in popularity for London’s Southbank is particularly surprising given it only made up 7.3% of office space searches a year ago (a 413% year-on-year increase since April 2017).  Meanwhile, Soho’s market share dropped from 45.2% in 2017 to 23.5% in 2018 and Clerkenwell dropped from 26.7% to 2%.

“This data is really exciting. Where startups and SMEs previously wanted to be in established creative clusters, this shows signs of a maturing scale-up market. UK businesses are increasingly comfortable to move to newer, developing areas. Once dominated by the public sector, the Southbank has become a truly diverse London market attracting Tech and Media Companies and corporates alike, including News International, Omnicom and Ogilvy. The introduction of the Crossrail and cheaper prices are likely fueling the boom” says Tushar Agarwal, Hubble’s co-founder and CEO.

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Startups and SMEs are branching out to different creative “hub-spots” within London, but most prominently is an unprecedented shift to south of the river. Searches for London Bridge specifically make up 29% of all searches and the Southbank, as a whole, making up 37.5% of all search queries.

Hubble’s data is backed up by the recent Knight Frank report which named the Southbank as London’s newest commercial hotspot: “South Bank has followed the trend in brownfield regeneration. Former industrial buildings have been put to new uses, from the Tate Modern art gallery in the Bankside Power Station, to the Harvey Nichols restaurant in the Oxo Tower, to Borough Market adding a delicatessen market at the weekends. High-quality offices have been developed in recent years, and new transport infrastructure built, which has opened up the market to businesses seeking new headquarters buildings.”

This table shows the which areas are most popular for startups/SMEs searching for office space:

April 2017 April 2018
London Bridge 3.7% 29.0%
Shoreditch 14.9% 26.9%
Soho 45.2% 23.5%
Southbank 3.7% 8.5%
West London 5.6% 2.7%
Clerkenwell 26.7% 2.0%
City of London 0.20% 1.00%
Other 0.00% 6.40%
TOTAL 100.0% 100.0%

Some of the top spaces with availability south of the river right now include:

Browse our full range of spaces in the Southbank here.

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