Sky-high rents and business rates are driving London businesses from their traditional homes

Helen Cahill
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Workers In Offices At Night In London
Office space in some locations is becoming too expensive for businesses (Source: Getty)

Rising rents in London are driving businesses out of their traditional hot-spots in the capital, as firms refuse to down-scale to stay in their old locations.

Media companies, once happy in the West End, are now setting up shop in Clerkenwell, Farrington and Shoreditch, and accountancy firms are moving from Chancery Lane to Canary Wharf, according to research from commercial property advisors DeVono Cresa.

Property companies can no longer afford space in Mayfair and are decamping instead to areas north of Oxford Street and Marylebone.

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Research from the property firm surveyed 350 businesses in May 2011 and again in May 2016. In the original questionnaire, just 21 per cent of businesses said they would consider alternative locations to where they were at the time.

This year, 63 per cent of the businesses surveyed had left their traditional industry hotspots because of increasing rents and business rates which have made some areas unaffordable.

DeVono Cresa singled out Hackney and Wood Wharf as up and coming areas for offices in the capital.

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Robert Leigh, DeVono Cresa's chief executive, said: "What's significant about this trend is that until recently may companies simply chose to take a lesser grade of office, placing the priority on remaining in their traditional industry area.

"What's changed is the willingness to move significantly further out in order to maintain or increase space and light. Feedback from rent reviews conducted over the past 12 months indicates businesses are keen to futureproof expenditure as London's ever-increasing office rents outpaces inflation."

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