London Rent Increases Highlight Swindon’s Strengths for Business Relocations Thursday 20 September 2007 PDF Print 20th September 2007, Swindon, United Kingdom – The property press has recently reported strong demand for office space in London from expanding businesses, leading to big rent increases. Prime office space in Mayfair and the West End has increased from £70 to £100 per square foot and big businesses are coming under increasing pressure. Swindon Borough Council’s Economic Development Unit has seen enquiries for company relocations to Swindon double in the last six months, with many from London and the South East, as organisations seek to improve their competitiveness and the quality of life for employees. Relocating to Swindon can solve a company’s financial, accommodation, transport and staffing problems in one fell swoop. The decision to relocate is often triggered by increasing costs or lack of space, and businesses frequently begin the process by number-crunching. Swindon compares favourably because business costs such as salaries, premises and transport are much more affordable than in London. Housing costs are also very reasonable compared to near neighbours Reading, Oxford and Bristol. Bill Cotton, Swindon’s Director of Economic Development and Cultural Services comments, ‘In addition to a favourable costs comparison, Swindon has much to offer London businesses. Swindon companies have told us in a recent survey that they rate very highly Swindon’s accessibility and transport infrastructure from the rest of the UK, as well as the proximity of customers and suppliers. Swindon’s economy grows stronger every day, but that’s only half the story. Businesses surveyed also gave high ratings to important factors for their employees - such as overall quality of life, and availability of schools, colleges and further education. Having made Swindon one of 29 new Government growth points around the country, Swindon’s thriving economy was recently praised by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the House of Commons. Swindon also has just come out top of the league of the UK’s fifty largest towns and cities for the highest growth in the number of new VAT-registered businesses, according to a recent survey by accountants UHY Hacker Young . This thriving economy is now home to thirty-seven blue chip companies who value Swindon for a whole host of reasons, such as its geographical location - Swindon is only an hour by train to London and lies close to the UK’s main M4/M5 road and rail networks, sea ports and airports. And the future for the town looks bright, with a £1 billion urban regeneration scheme underway to bring the retail centre onto a par with Reading, Bristol and Cardiff, reviving the town’s image and making it a more attractive place to live. -ends- Word count 425 FACTS & FIGURES Swindon’s Economic Performance Indicators • GVA - Highest gross value added per head (the equivalent of gdp at town/regional level). Swindon’s GVA is more than 50% higher than the UK average. Third highest in terms of regions. • Employment rate at 79% is higher than both the SW (77.7%) and the UK (74.2%) • Swindon has a higher proportion of people in working age group (63.6%) compared to SW (59.9) and UK (62.1). Location Swindon is located : • one hour to London Paddington by train • an hour’s drive to Heathrow and Bristol airports • 90 minutes drive to Central London, Birmingham and Southampton • 40 minutes to Reading, Bristol, Cheltenham, Oxford and Bath For further details, interviews and hi-res jpegs, contact: Rhona Jack Blue Click PR Ltd. Tel: +44 (0) 1793 441414 Mobile : +44 (0) 7866 546221 email@example.com Sinclair Brown Marketing and Investment Manager Economic Development Unit Swindon Borough Council Tel: +44 (0) 1793 466170 firstname.lastname@example.org The Economic Development Directorate at Swindon Borough Council Swindon Borough Council is committed to supporting the business community in the Borough. Swindon Borough Council’s Economic Development Directorate acts as an interface between the local authority and the business community and aims to maximise the benefit that companies make to the local economy. The Economic Development Directorate provides a wide range of services to industry and commerce, including extensive research and analysis. The two main areas of focus are: Supporting the existing business community by providing help and advice to employers in the Borough, responding to their concerns and proactively targeting support to priority sectors of the economy. Encouraging and facilitating new investment by promoting Swindon as an excellent location for business, working with companies that are considering relocating or expanding and ensuring that a suitable environment exists for investment. The Economic Development Directorate works in partnership with a range of other organisations in delivering its strategy, including the Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership, Business Link, the New Swindon Company, South West of England Regional Development Agency, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, Wiltshire and Swindon Learning and Skills Council. 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