East Midlands

With its large manufacturing base and increasingly diverse industry, the East Midlands is one of the United Kingdom's economic motors. Over the past few years, the region has attracted a large number of multinationals, and innovative business start-ups keep appearing throughout this region. This means that there is an increasing need for office accommodation in the East Midlands' key business locations, so keep reading to find out more about the key figures on office space in this thriving region.

Key office locations in the East Midlands

The cities of Nottingham, Derby, and Leicester are the most important office locations in the East Midlands, since approximately 45 per cent of all the region's businesses are based there. Lincoln and Northampton are minor office locations, but their importance is steadily increasing as business owners turn to smaller cities in search of affordable office space.


Derby has long been associated with automotive and aerospace firm Rolls Royce. The company's headquarters are located in the outskirts of the city and employ nearly 12,000 people. Rail manufacturing firm Bombardier is also based in the city and employs approximately 600 people in its offices. Japanese multinational Toyota employs 4,000 people at its site in Burnaston, near Derby.

Some of the largest business centres in the Derby area include Friar Gate Studios, a purpose-built business centre that is home to the region's most forward-thinking businesses in the creative sector; and the Rosehill business centre, which offers office units ranging between 173 to 641 square feet. Other noteworthy business parks near Derby include Tetron Point and Bretby Business Park. Business incubators are available at the Network House and the iD Centre.

According to a recent report published by commercial property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton, 25,819 square feet of office were taken up in Derby during the first quarter of 2014. This figure is below average and points at the decreasing availability of prime office space in the area. For to this reason, several initiatives have been launched by the local authorities, such as the re-development of the 250-acre Infinity Park. In a similar fashion, the Derby & Derbyshire Economic Partnership has invested £1 million in developing new office space that suits the needs of the local businesses, as they were behind the creation of Friar Gate Studios. In addition, private developers like Wilson Bowden and Miller Birch have been behind a number of office developments, like the 95,000-square feet Number One Cathedral Green.

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There are several well-established business centres in the Leicester area. For example, the Watermead business park offers office facilities that range between 5,000 and 100,000 square feet. British retailer Dunelm is headquartered here, employing 150 people in a 55,000 square feet office building.

During the past 8 months, office space take-up rates have been booming in the Leicester area, both in terms of city centre and out of town properties. In 2013, approximately 276,000 square feet of office space were taken up in the area. The latest transactions have seen the average cost of office space rise to £9.50 per square foot. Some transactions, (like the 6,222 square feet leased at 1 Oak Spinney Park) have involved prices of £14.50 per square foot.

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Like in the most of the East Midlands, the Leicester area is experiencing a continued decrease in the availability of grade A office space. This has prompted the local city council to develop schemes that might attract the interest of developers and a large number of planning applications, as it has happened with the new office development at Welford Place, in Leicester's city centre.


Nottingham has the highest office space take-up rates in the East Midlands. Last year, over 412,000 square feet were sold or leased. Prices ranged between £10 per square foot (Riverside Office Park) and £15 per square foot (The Curve Business Park). This area suffers from an acute lack of grade A office space, so the local council is planning to invest in the refurbishment of grade B space, mostly in Nottingham's city centre. In 2015, refurbishment will begin at the 25,000-square feet property of Unity Square, a council-backed development. Likewise, the council has paid £5 million for the re-development of Nottingham's police and fire station site, which is expected to be turned into prime office space in the near future.

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When it comes to private developers, St Mowden Properties is by far one of the most important in the area. This company was behind the development of the 100-acre site at the Hilton business park, which offers office units starting at 6,000 square feet.

In the meantime, business centres like the Sherwood business park are profiling themselves as some of the most successful office developments in the East Midlands. This site offers 95,000 square feet of office space at average rates of £15,50 per square foot. The demand for out-of-town locations in Nottinghamshire is also growing, as it is evident in the construction of various business parks that offer serviced offices and flexible space, like the Icon business centre, located 11 miles away from Nottingham.