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As ‘The Gateway to Southwest’, Bristol is one of the main economic centres in England. As a consequence, Bristol has a large variety of office space available to rent or purchase.
There are two distinct office markets: the city centre market and the out of town market.
Out of town office locations include popular established business parks including Aztec West, Bristol Business Park and Almondsbury Business park in North Bristol, and within commuter belt villages and towns such as Warmley, Keynsham, and Yate.
Smaller offices to let present opportunities throughout Bristol within peripheral village and high street locations such as Portishead, Kingswood and Bedminster to larger popular destinations such as Clifton Village, Whiteladies Road (Clifton) and Almondsbury. Smaller office spaces have transformed the way companies are working in Bristol, encouraging start-up companies and newly formed businesses to thrive in smaller office spaces at generically lower prices. Typically, these smaller office spaces form Grade B office accommodation in the main and many are situated in strong locations for amenities on high streets or popular commuter town locations due to the strong communication links and immediate employment catchment the office locations present.
After a period with limited new stock coming to the market, Bristol City Centre has seen a noticeable increase in the number of office developments coming to the market in the past few years. The focus of these has been in the Temple Quay area of the city due to the excellent communication links afforded by Bristol Temple Meads train station, a mainline train station servicing London, Bath, Cheltenham, Birmingham and Cardiff and Bristol Bus Station again with a national network of routes.
The closest office location to Bristol Temple Meads is Temple Quay. This is a desirable office location with predominantly Grade A offices having first been built in the late 1990’s and is also home to some of Bristol’s largest employers, including Osborne Clarke, OVO Energy, Burges Salmon, PWC, Bank of Ireland and Deloitte LLP. Typical offices have large floor plates between 5-15,000 sq ft upwards with the ability to split floorplates up to allow for flexible spaces to be created in these new modern offices. Temple Quay is within 1-5 minutes’ walk from Bristol Temple Meads, 10-15 minutes’ walk to Cabot Circus Shopping Centre and 5-7 minutes’ walk to Bristol City Centre and Bristol Harbourside. In addition, Temple Quay has direct road communications to the M32 via Temple Way, A4 to Bath and A37 to Wells. There has been a trend towards a greater provision of coworking spaces in this location.
Queen Square is England’s largest Georgian Square and is one of Bristol’s premier office destinations. Queen Square typically is made up of older office accommodation behind attractive period facades, offering smaller floor plates of 3,000-10,000sq ft of office space per floor. In recent years a number of new developments have replaced dated and obsolete buildings to provide high quality Prime Grade A office space. Queen Square is less than 5 minutes’ walk to Bristol City Centre (via Prince Street), Bristol Harbourside (over Pero Bridge), Bristol Temple Meads (via Redcliffe Way) and Merchants Quay (over Prince Street Bridge to Wapping Road) making it one of the city’s most accessible office locations. In addition, the large residential suburbs of Southville, Bedminster, Clifton, Redland, Cotham and Totterdown are all within walking distance of Queen Square offices.
Bristol Harbourside has undergone a large amount of office development in the past 10 years, with major office occupiers including Lloyds Banking Group, Hargreaves Lansdown, QBE Business Insurance, CX Partners and CMS Bristol making this location their headquarters. Harbouside has an attractive waterside location with lock controlled water levels ensuring consistent water levels 24 hours per day. Not only is Bristol Harbourside centrally located with quick links to College Green (via Trinity Street), Queen Square (over Pero Bridge) Bristol City Centre and Hotwells (via the A4 Anchor Road), but all of the office accommodation is new and modern (developed since the 2000’s). The floor plates are large and easily divisible for flexibility however predominantly all of the office accommodation has remained large and of high quality and therefore demand higher prices per sq ft.
Clifton Village has traditionally been an office destination for local occupiers. The variety of office space available to let is large. Clifton Village offers small company office spaces from 1-5 person offices within period office buildings, usually above retail premises, creating collaborative spaces with a mixture of tenants within one building. Whilst there are larger offices available to rent in Clifton Village, the majority of offices available are suited to smaller occupiers benefiting from sharing and co-sharing their office building with other office tenants. Clifton Village is located in the affluent area of Clifton in Bristol, it has strong communication links to Park Street, Bristol Triangle, Abbots Leigh and Whiteladies Road. Clifton Village is predominantly known for its tourist attractions including the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Clifton Observatory, Coronation Tap and the Clifton Arcade.
Whiteladies Road is a major arterial route in Bristol, dissecting the affluent residential suburbs of Clifton, Redland and Cotham. Whiteladies Road runs from the Durdham Downs (a 400 acre area of public open space) to the Clifton Triangle at the top of Park Street. All along Whiteladies Road, offices are located above prominent retail units or in converted period properties.
Office space tends to vary from small 100 sq ft units up to larger spaces of 5,000-7,000 sq ft. The office stock in this location tends to be predominantly cellular, with smaller rooms providing less flexible, smaller space. Due to the nature of office accommodation, the majority of the office spaces do not come with allocated car parking spaces, therefore occupiers rely on the strong transport links that Whiteladies Road offers, including the Clifton Down Railway Station (which has a direct line to Bristol Temple Meads) and several mainline bus services to Bristol City Centre and Cribbs Causeway. The team as Square Foot Finder like this location so much that we have located our Headquarters Office within a stone’s throw of Whiteladies Road!
Bristol’s out of town office provision is focused around Almondsbury, close to the M4/M5 motorway interchange and Bristol Parkway, the city’s second main line railway station.
Almondsbury provides a large amount of office accommodation of varying quality and cost, with a mix of secondary Grade B office accommodation and high quality refurbished space.
Aztec West was England’s first purpose built business location, and comprises a mix of large purpose built office buildings and industrial premises. A large proportion of the vacant office space in this location comprises high quality refurbished office space to meet the demands of modern office occupiers and to capitalise on the rising rents in this location.
Almondsbury Business Park, as it is locally known, is made up of a mix of small business parks, predominantly constructed in the 1990’s, providing open plan office accommodation and a relatively generous car parking provision. Almondsbury offices heavily rely on transport links like Bristol Parkway station, the M32 and the M4/M5 interchange and have a huge catchment due to its highly accessible location.
The recent development of the Willow Brook Centre has led to an increase in demand as the centre has specialised in generating retail and leisure occupiers to service the demand from local office occupiers. In addition the Willow Brook centre has created small office spaces on the retail park due to the increased level of demand in the area.