South West England

The South West of England has more urban centres than you might at first imagine, and there are plenty of business parks which occupy sites on the edge of market towns and former agricultural sites.

Employment in the region is high and the South West usually only lags behind the south east in terms of its unemployment rate. Because London's major international hub, Heathrow Airport, is on the west side of the capital, the West Country enjoys good communications to it via the M3 and M4 motorways. Bristol, the region's most important city, also has an international airport and there are several other domestic airports, too.

In terms of offices, then it is Bristol which offers the most, but in other areas there is usually a good choice of mixed development sites which afford facilities for light industry as well as offices that are suited to purely clerical work and service-based businesses.


Devon has quite a diverse economy and its office facilities reflect this. For example, Pennon Group, the large water company, and the Meteorological Office are both based in Exeter. Toshiba, the consumer electronics manufacturer, is also a major employer in Devon. In Plymouth, the Royal Navy is still the largest employer, but there are plethora of private businesses which serve it, too.

In Plymouth, one of Devon's most important economic centres, there are a number of business parks which have office space to rent. City Business Park is both owned and run by Plymouth City Council as a going concern. Here, you will find a combination of office suites and workshops. The city also has a dedicated science park which is more suited to firms looking to research and development facilities as well as laboratories. In Exeter, Regus have a range of serviced office suites and options to suite all sorts of firms. There is also another good park near to Exeter's airport.

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Much of Cornwall's economy remains in food production and tourism. However, it still can accommodate office based business, too. Cornwall Bio Park is a good example. The development attempts to fuse a unique mix of recycling and waste-to-energy enterprises with more traditional office spaces and work hubs. Partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the site offers over 140,000 square feet of business space. Falmouth also has a dedicated business park on the west side of the town with some low rise facilities being situated more centrally.


The business sites and offices in Somerset tend not to be far from the M5 which runs through the county. Most of the larger office blocks are to be found in Taunton, which is the county town. Here, you'll find some edge-of-town business parks along with glass fronted office blocks in the centre. Outside of Taunton, Foxmoor Business Park, close to Wellington, and Express Park, just outside of Bridgwater, both offer a range of facilities for business looking to relocate to the southwest but still wanting convenient access to the motorway network.


The most important employer in the county is the government's intelligence agency which has its secure offices in Cheltenham. Other service and knowledge based businesses have sites in close proximity to GCHQ. As you might expect, you find hi-tech, military and aerospace companies, but there are also well known brands like Endsleigh Insurance in the area, too.

Stroud has some excellent office facilities which have been converted from former industrial units. It is home to the green energy company Ecotricity. Gloucester has lots of business parks which also frequently act as distribution centres, offering easy access to South Wales, the Midlands and the south east.

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By far the largest city in the south west, Bristol offers both inner city sky rise office blocks and suburban business parks. You find every type of commercial premises in the city, from heavy industry to purely clerical office suites. High tech companies like Nokia Siemens are attracted to Bristol because of its high number of graduates. You will also find media companies, like the BBC and Aardman Animations, along with purely digital firms, such as E3 media and Auros.

The number of business parks are too many to mention, but the rentals tend to be highest in locations that offer easy access to the M4 and the M5. These tend to be clustered on the north side of the city. Other than those, offices which enjoy a location close to the vibrant city centre are also the costliest ones.

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The southern side of the city, near to the airport tend to offer greater value for money, with more flexibility in rental terms. For some time, Bristol has been one of the foremost productive city economies in the country and there is little to suggest a change any time soon.