SMEs fuel biggest demand for regional office space since crisis

 
Kasmira Jefford
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A RESURGENCE in demand from small and medium-sized enterprises in the regions helped boost office take-up to its highest level since the start of the downturn, according to research released today by CBRE.

The property advisory firm said 6.35m square feet of office space was transacted on last year in the UK’s nine key regions – up 15 per cent on 2013 and over a third more than the five-year annual average of 4.60m sq ft.

Growth in these regions, which include including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, and Birmingham, outstripped the growth of office occupation in the south east, where take-up of new office space totalled 2.35m sq ft.

Bristol saw the sharpest increase, with office take-up rising by 61 per cent in the year to December. Manchester and Aberdeen also saw particularly strong growth – up 45 and 44 per cent respectively.

CBRE director Ashley Hancox, said: “Business confidence is a crucial indicator of future economic performance and these figures show that businesses large and small feel secure enough to commit to larger office space.

“It’s particularly encouraging that the highest levels of office take-up is taking place in the regions – exactly where it is needed for the UK to continue to have a balanced and robust recovery,” she added,

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