The key features for start-ups, as well as small and large businesses, include:
- Prominent location for the finance, legal and insurance sectors in the Core City market
- Areas such as Southbank benefit from less expensive spaces, making it a popular choice that still provides easy access to the center
- Plenty of options in areas such as Shoreditch, Clerkenwell and Farringdon for those looking for a more edgy office environment
The City Core is the home of large businesses. It's your typical busy center, featuring plenty of skyscrapers, refurbished brick façade buildings and that high-powered corporate feel. So if being at the center of the action is important to your business, the City Core is the place to be.
This area is popular with finance and insurance companies, perhaps due to the close proximity to other like-minded companies as well as the Lloyds building - the home of the insurance sector. Banking, accountancy and law are also well-established industries in this area, with occupiers including HSBC, RBS, Accenture and Ashurst LLP.
Transport around the center is simple, benefiting from London's tube network as well as the upcoming Queen Elizabeth line (Crossrail) opening in 2018 at Liverpool Street.
In addition to the thriving corporate scene, the area also features green spaces and is close to landmarks such as St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London.
During the working week there are plenty of options for socializing or arranging client meetings at high-end restaurants. Bars and lunch spots are plentiful, with a number offering impressive views across London – for example, City Social, Sushi Samba and the Sky Garden. It is worth noting that the area is significantly quieter during the weekends, meaning some establishments will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.
London City Airport provides convenient access to many International destinations, perfect if your business involves frequent travel.
Clerkenwell and Farringdon
This area of London has several perks. An office here gives you access to the vibrant city center, but also allows you to benefit from better value for money compared to the City Core or West End areas.
The social scene here is good, as well as boasting attractive refurbished buildings in light of a recent effort to transform the area.
This part of central London is popular with tech and media companies. It's more affordable than other parts of London, and often offers office space with that kooky edge media companies go hand-in-hand with. Retail and leisure is also a popular industry in this part of London.
Travelling around the area is simple, as well as being cycle-friendly, so getting from A to B shouldn't be an issue. Farringdon station will become one of the best connected in the whole of London with the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth line in 2018.
Just like the very center of London, the social scene here is busier during the working week, however it does still provide plenty of opportunity for weekend socials too. There's a good mix of both chain and independent places to spend post-work drinks or grab a coffee on your way in.
The area also features green spaces, and should be transformed further by the upcoming arrival of Crossrail, making it simpler to get to commuter towns to the east and west.
Shoreditch is in an excellent location for staying connected. You can easily access the city's financial district, as well as popular residential areas such as Whitechapel and Shadwell. It has been transformed from a run-down, slightly tatty area into a buzzing, rejuvenated hub for the more creatively minded person.
It's also popular with start-up companies that want all the perks of being close to the city center, but with a slightly less corporate environment.
The once run-down environment now features trendy bars and plenty of spots for creatives to meet up, network and settle in. Independent eateries are popular here, as well as the traditional pubs and the close by Brick Lane.
The Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane Markets also provide plenty to keep the team occupied, whether that's on a lunch break or when picking up breakfast for an early client meeting.
Once considered a fringe City market, Aldgate is now fully established as its own new market that's already seeing big name property companies, developers and house builders settle in. There's been a big redevelopment push in this area, boosting its profile significantly. New businesses that have located there include Uber and TAG Worldwide.
Aldgate is within walking distance of Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, and Dalston, but is a cheaper alternative to areas such as Clerkenwell, Shoreditch and the very center of London.
The facilities and accessibility of Aldgate make it a popular choice with start-ups and small businesses. The location means you're free to take advantage of the city, without the added price tag.
One thing that sets Aldgate apart is its transport. The two stations here provide access to four tube lines - Circle, Metropolitan, District, and Hammersmith and City. And it's only set to improve – The Queen Elizabeth line (Crossrail) will benefit the area from 2018, connecting it with the West End as well as Heathrow.
Aldgate is also well connected to Liverpool Street and Tower Gateway - meaning it's ideal for those that need to travel in and out of Canary Wharf with access to City airport.
Outside of the office, Aldgate has plenty on offer to cater to staff, as well as potential clients. Restaurants, pubs and bars are all nearby, as well as plenty of choice for lunch.
Southbank - Waterloo, London Bridge
London Southbank has undergone a major rejuvenation over the course of the last decade. Areas such as the London Bridge Quarter near The Shard pose an attractive location for businesses, as well as offering value for money compared to more central locations.
As well as providing a diverse range of amenities, it is a pretty picturesque area of London to work. Situated along the river, the views will certainly make your commute a pleasant one. It also home to Shakespeare’s The Globe Theatre.
This area is popular with a variety of businesses - both tech companies and those in the media industry occupy space here, as well as those in the business and consumer sectors. Towards the London Bridge area, you'll also find those in the professional sector, such as EY, PWC and Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.
Southbank is a cycle-friendly area, as well as benefiting from London's excellent transport links. The social scene in this area is also plentiful. Southbank center and along the waterfront is pretty much guaranteed to provide a great atmosphere for after-work drinks. The frequent food stalls that can be found near London Bridge for example, and Borough market provide plenty of lunchtime entertainment. There are also numerous fine dining restaurants, such as, Hutong, Gaucho and Restaurant Story.
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