Recent plaudits recognise the long-established strength of Slough as a corporate HQ location, while regeneration initiatives and development activity will inevitably lift demand levels.
Recently voted the best ‘UK town to work in’, Slough has developed in to a major UK business hub. Over 4,600 businesses call Slough home, with the town reported as having the highest concentration of corporate HQ’s outside of central London.
Many are located in Slough Trading Estate, which, since its development in the 1920’s, has become the largest industrial estate in single private ownership in Europe supporting over 20,000 jobs in 500 businesses.
Major regeneration of the town is ongoing, which will yield new residential and business space via the ‘Heart of Slough’ scheme. In addition planning is underway to redevelop Queensmere Shopping Centre adding to the retail offering. With the Elizabeth Line due in 2019 and the Western Rail Approach to Heathrow expected by 2024, the growth of Slough’s ‘centre for business’ reputation is being cemented.
The ‘dot.com boom’ of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s served to drive major office development in Slough with the town still considered as an important IT location. The information & communication sector accounts for 13.3% of employment in the town, the highest individual sector.
The technology sector is attributable for 28% of office take-up since 2000 and 70% in 2017. Fiserv has been the latest arrival paying a record rent to occupy space at The Porter Building.
Notably, the operational heart of many technology companies is also housed in Slough, with the town boasting the highest concentration of data centres in the UK.
2017 proved to be a strong year for office development, with 320,200 sq ft completed across four schemes. The Landid / Brockton development of The Porter Building delivering 110,500 sq ft of brand new space perhaps best demonstrates the image change at work in Slough.
The 100,000 sq ft first phase of ‘The Future Works’ is due for delivery in the second quarter of 2018. Set within Slough’s first commercial quarter, the development forms part of a 350,000 sq ft Grade A office scheme led by Ashby Capital and U+I. Further ahead, just short of 1.1 million sq ft is proposed for office development in Slough over the next five years.
Slough has very much turned a corner with the ‘Heart of Slough’ regeneration well underway, leveraging the fast links to London.
The erosion of a significant amount of Grade B office supply for Permitted Development, predominantly along the Bath Road, has helped to realign office stock and focus on the best quality buildings catering for occupier demand.
The arrival of the Elizabeth Line will further benefit what is already a very well used train connection to Paddington. This is evidenced by Fiserv relocating from Stockley Park to The Porter Building at a new prime headline rent for Slough.