Picking a location and finding office space for your business is a big decision. Whether you’re just starting up and looking for your first workplace, considering expansion, or moving offices for other strategic reasons, the location you choose will be instrumental in your business journey, identity, and success.

With so much variation across the country, it can pay to explore what you can get for your money in popular UK cities – and different locations within those cities – to best suit your business and budget. Factors such as the type of building, whether you’re in the city centre or on the fringes, and the grading of the space, can influence costs.

Cost isn’t everything though. It’s important to weigh this up alongside the benefits a specific location or space could offer your business. For example, enhancing employee experience, supporting talent attraction and retention, or helping you meet sustainability targets. In this short guide we explore how to find office space to suit your needs across popular UK locations.

Office search considerations

A generic ‘office for rent near me’ search is unlikely to uncover the best options for your business as this won’t take into consideration your organisation’s specific needs. Finding the perfect base, that balances cost with meeting business needs, might mean looking at different workplace models or slightly further afield than your first or obvious location choice.

The search for the perfect location must be requirement-led. Consider:

  • If you rely on being based in a particular area to serve your existing customer base
  • If you are looking for a long term solution, or would benefit from a more flexible lease arrangement
  • Your current employees. How will a change in location impact your people?
  • Future employees. Location largely dictates your hiring pool. To attract the kind of talent your business needs, where do you need to be located?
  • Do you need to be in a city centre, or are there alternative office spaces on the fringe that could tick all your boxes and keep costs down?
  • How much space you need. Think about desk capacity, flexible office space with dedicated workspaces or hot desks, areas for collaboration and brainstorms, number of meeting rooms, any private offices required, wellbeing areas etc. It’s a good idea to talk to an experience workplace consultant to figure out your specific space requirements
  • What amenities do you need nearby? E.g. Affordable parking, easy access to public transport, proximity to a local high street etc.


Manchester has the largest city region economy outside London, with a gross value added (GVA) of £78.7bn. As the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Manchester is one of the largest manufacturing and engineering hubs, as well as being home to many leading creative, media, digital and technology businesses.

With an average prime rent of £43 per square foot, office spaces in Manchester offer more affordable options than the capital and bring benefits from a talent perspective too. The city has access to 7.2 million people within a one-hour drive and over 100,000 students.

Key locations in and around the city to consider in your office search include:

  • The Northern Quarter – a vibrant and creative neighbourhood, home to beautiful heritage buildings and lots of unique and innovative venues and businesses
  • Ancoats – one of Manchester’s most up-and-coming areas, regenerated after its post-industrial decline to become one of the most exciting locations to work, live and socialise
  • Piccadilly – a thriving central location, well connected and already home to thousands of businesses
  • Circle Square – a new neighbourhood on Oxford Road and home to many new developments and pioneering businesses. This area is particularly popular with fast growing tech companies, and those that want to benefit from close access to the local university talent pools
  • Salford Quays and Media City – on the banks of Manchester’s historic ship canal and (as its name might suggest) a thriving hub of media, digital and creative organisations, including the BBC and ITV

Finding affordable office space in Manchester doesn’t have to mean renting your own private office or building. The city is also home to lots of high quality co-working spaces and serviced workspaces offering shorter-term commitments, including:


Leeds is an attractive and affordable prospect in the search for office space for rent. After London, the city has experienced the strongest prime rental growth since the Covid pandemic. Today, considers itself ‘the cultural, financial and commercial heart of Yorkshire’, with the second largest legal centre in the UK, and an expanding banking, finance and insurance footprint.

Today, it considers itself ‘the cultural, financial, and commercial heart of Yorkshire’, with the second largest legal center in the UK, and an expanding banking, finance, and insurance footprint

With an average prime rent of just £37 per square foot, it’s one of the most affordable and in-demand cities in the UK. The city has a working population of over 1.9m and is home to five universities, making it a prime location to recruit and build a skilled talent pool.

If you’re searching for office space in Leeds then key locations in and around the city to consider include:

  • Leeds Central – a thriving business epicentre and home to the Civic and Financial Quarters and regional offices for many big-name institutions
  • Financial Quarter – from Park Row to Wellington Street, the Financial Quarter is the location of many leading businesses including Aviva and The Bank of England. This includes Wellington Place, a new hub of state-of-the-art offices, independent restaurants and landscaped gardens. Just a few minutes’ walk from Leeds railway station, this urban quarter has become the location of choice for many leading organisations, including HSBC and Womble Bond Dickinson
  • Leeds Dock – home to a number of leading digital and tech companies, including Sky’s Digital HQ
  • Northern outskirts – The city’s main universities, including Leeds University and Leeds Beckett, are found in the north of the city centre. For organisations looking to create connections with educational institutions, or have easy access to the next generation of talent, the Northern part of the city could be the ideal location for you

Popular co-working and flexible term office spaces include:
Fora – No. 1 Aire Street
Avenue HQ on East Parade
Wizu Workspace – five different locations across the city


Often referred to as the UK’s ‘second city’, Birmingham is fast becoming one of the most attractive areas to start or relocate a business. Many big finance, marketing and management institutions, including BT, KPMG and PwC have already chosen it as their home.

Not only is it more affordable than many locations in the capital with an average prime rent of £41 per square foot, but its convenient location in the heart of the UK makes it an ideal choice for many native, national and global organisations, as well as events.

Birmingham is easily accessible by air, rail and road – being within a four-hour drive for 90% of the UK population. As the second most populous city in the UK outside London, it’s also a prime location to attract talent, and has one of the most diverse and highly qualified communities.

When finding an office to rent in Birmingham, consider looking in:

  • Colmore Business District – the commercial heart of the city, with many high profile professional services organisations, retail, bars, cafes and restaurants based here
  • Birmingham Central – the city centre is home to three train stations and a huge number of national and global companies from across multiple sectors
  • The Jewellery Quarter – the urban village on the edge of the city centre is home to many businesses from the creative industry across media, software and architecture
  • Digbeth – in recent years, major redevelopment has transformed Digbeth, converting many industrial buildings into contemporary offices and workspaces to host a thriving start-up culture.
  • Solihull – an ‘international business gateway’, easily accessible by rail and major motorways and a hub of manufacturing and IT expertise

Popular co-working and flexible workspaces include:
Alpha Works
• WeWork – 55 Colmore Row


As a world-renowned hub for technology, finance and professional services, the capital is still one of the most appealing business centres in the UK. Today it is home to over 1.4 million businesses and has an unrivalled transport network. With a population of more than nine million, London provides access to a range of diverse skills, experience and culture.

A limited supply of premium space has fuelled the increase in prime rent in the capital over the last year. However, the cost of office space can vary significantly from one part of London to another, with prime rent in the West End priced at an average of £150 per square foot, City and Southbank at £87.50 per square foot, and Docklands and Stratford at around £57.50 per square foot.

With so many different areas to consider it can be hard to narrow your options down, but key and up-and-coming locations in and around the city to consider include:

  • The ‘City’ – typically associated with finance, insurance and banking sectors, heart of the city a mix of modern offices and more traditional buildings. Specifically, Kings Cross is fast becoming a thriving tech hub and is now home to Google’s new London HQ and Facebook
  • The West End – with around 10 million square feet of office space to be developed and delivered by 2026, this area is becoming a buzzing business hub for commercial as well as entertainment industries
  • Shoreditch – many old industrial buildings in the area have undergone significant regeneration, converting into contemporary offices and attracting a tech-focused community and many other sectors alongside

Or, the answer to effective and affordable office space in London for your organisation might be a flexible or shared workplace, like:

I’ve chosen my office location – what are the next steps?

Choosing a location for your business is a big decision and requires you to take both current and future requirements into account. Consulting experienced office relocation specialists to help guide you through the process can be highly beneficial.

Once they’ve helped you find a location matching your search criteria, they will work with commercial property agents to find suitable office spaces for your organisation. Office moves can be long and complex, so once you’ve agreed on the space, your agent will help you manage the lease or purchase and help see the process through to completion.

To find the best location for your business, or to learn more about our office relocation services, simply get in touch.