A Guide to Office Space in Southampton

Posted on: 19th February 2024

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Southampton is a thriving coastal city with great transport links. With businesses across a variety of industries and a local authority committed to growth, it’s an ideal location for many businesses.

It has consistently ranked in the top 10 in PwC’s Good Growth for Cities due to key growth in housing, income, skills and work-life balance. This highlights Southampton's robust economic environment and quality of life, making it a compelling choice for businesses that value a balanced and thriving city.

Companies setting up in Southampton will also join a dynamic network of diverse industries. From cutting-edge tech firms to traditional maritime businesses, there is a vibrant commercial network here for collaboration and innovation.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of securing offices in Southampton for your business and the opportunities it will present.

Top business areas in Southampton

Southampton has a population of around 250,000 people with business activity spread across the city.

There are several locations a business should consider when looking for offices to rent in Southampton. The city’s main areas include:

● Southampton City Centre: The city’s central business and leisure district. The centre is home to the major West Quay shopping centre. It is also the location of the Mayflower Theatre, the SeaCity Maritime Museum, and the Southampton City Art Gallery. This makes it ideal for retail and entertainment businesses, looking for high footfall and a diverse consumer base.

● Ocean Village: Home to Southampton’s marina. The waterfront location is a hub for yachts and leisure boats. The marina is surrounded by many bars, restaurants, and shopping attractions. This is a perfect location for leisure, hospitality, and marine-related businesses looking for a waterfront location.

● Portswood: A suburb to the north of the city. This location has a high student population due to being close to a University of Southampton campus. Businesses catering to younger demographics with education or student-focused services will be drawn here.

● Science Park: A major science and tech hub. This location is located on the outskirts of the city. The business park houses over 100 companies in sectors such as IT, engineering, environment and health. This makes it an excellent choice for innovative tech and research companies seeking a collaborative, high-tech environment.

● Southampton Airport: One of the South Coast’s biggest airports. The surrounding area has many businesses based in travel, transport and logistics. This is an ideal locale for businesses looking to expand their regional and national connectivity.

5 businesses based in Southampton

Southampton has a diverse range of industries. This includes many large companies across finance, travel, logistics, technology and more.

Some of the top-performing businesses based here are:

● Quilter: This investment and wealth management company has a major office in Southampton’s city centre

● Carnival UK: This cruise company operates P&O Cruises and Cunard from Southampton’s port

● Ordnance Survey: The UK’s mapping agency has its head offices in Southampton

● Starling Bank: The challenger bank opened a major office in Southampton in 2019, employing around 400 staff

● Associated British Ports: The UK’s shipping agency has a key base at Southampton’s docks

Why you should rent an office in Southampton

Southampton offers a variety of opportunities for businesses. The city has a commitment to business improvement and has several schemes to help growing companies.

It’s also a university city, which means there is a pool of talented graduates to hire from.

The city attracts a wide range of industries, meaning there are many opportunities to connect with like-minded people. The city has a growing tech scene and a thriving small business community.

It also has a convenient geographical location, with easy access to Southampton Port and Southampton Airport. Travelling to London by train takes a little over an hour, making it ideal for connections to the rest of the UK.

Below, we go through Southampton’s many benefits in more detail.

1. Business improvement initiatives

If you base your office in Southampton, you can benefit from the city’s commitment to business improvement. There are plenty of opportunities for growing businesses, including the Business Improvement District, or the BID.

This initiative supports local businesses in the city by investing in marketing, events, training, and partnerships. Any businesses in Southampton could benefit from the scheme’s activities.

2. University influence

Southampton is a major university city. Its universities attract thousands of students to the city each year.

The University of Southampton is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and is known for its academic success. Solent University offers a range of degree and apprentice courses across creative, engineering and business subjects.

The city produces talented graduates across science, arts and technology. Choosing office space in Southampton allows your business to hire from this talent pool.

3. Diverse industries

Southampton is home to a diverse range of thriving industries. It has a key business presence across the maritime, engineering, creative and technology sectors. Its location by the sea makes it perfect for maritime businesses. The docks are busy with tourism and play a big part in trade with other countries.

The University of Southampton's engineering department is known for its excellence. Each year, it produces hundreds of talented graduates.

A lot of these graduates stay in Southampton, working in marine, civic, and mechanical engineering companies. This keeps the city's engineering sector strong and innovative.

The opening of Starling Bank's office in 2019 highlighted Southampton's emerging significance in the FinTech and finance sectors. This move shows the city’s evolving economic landscape and its appeal to forward-thinking businesses.

The city also has a well-established creative scene. Organisations such as Creative Network South (CNS) offer opportunities for creative businesses in the Southampton area. This includes companies in marketing, architecture, publishing, and visual arts.

The mix of these different industries makes Southampton a great place for all kinds of businesses.

4. Dynamic business hub

Southampton is a dynamic business hub, dedicated to developing future leaders.

The city has many business growth opportunities that any company with an office in Southampton can benefit from.

This includes the Business and IP Centre (BIPC) at Southampton Central Library. This scheme offers one-to-one support on business ideas as well as advice on patents, business grants and workshops.

5. Tech industry growth

Southampton is rapidly emerging as a tech hub, offering abundant opportunities for tech businesses.

The city was named a top five ‘Super Cluster’ city for its opportunities in the tech sector. Ranking 5th nationally, ahead of notable cities like Bristol and Cambridge, Southampton's tech sector is characterised by a strong presence of medium-sized companies.

Proximity to tech initiatives is another major draw for businesses here. Notably, the University of Southampton hosts the globally renowned Web Science Institute, further bolstering the city's tech credentials.

6. Vibrant small business scene

Recent research revealed that Southampton is a leading location for small businesses in the UK. With a 91.98% active small business rate, ranking just behind London, Southampton demonstrates a robust and supportive business environment.

This thriving scene is further confirmed by Southampton's 'Indie Economy' score of 74 out of 100. This suggests it is one of the best places in the UK for independent businesses to grow and succeed.

7. Strategic geographic positioning

Southampton is conveniently located for travel via ship, train, road or air.

The Port of Southampton is one of the UK’s most crucial ports, both for business and leisure travel. The port is a common drop-off point for cruise ships and its commercial activities receive trade from ships around the world.

Southampton Central train station has an average of two trains an hour to London. Trains reach the capital in around 75 minutes.

Southampton Airport is just a twenty-minute drive from the city centre. The airport has daily flights to over 30 locations worldwide.

For road travel, the M27 motorway connects Southampton to Portsmouth and the surrounding areas. London is easily accessible by road from Southampton via the M3.

This connectivity makes Southampton an attractive choice for businesses requiring easy access to both international and UK-wide travel.

8. Economic support

Southampton is a good place for entrepreneurs thanks to the economic support the city can offer.

The city’s Access Southampton scheme offers employment resources, such as training courses and self-employment advice. There is also the Start Your Own Business (SYOB) Southampton scheme which offers networking opportunities, coworking, and business grants.

Businesses can also access grants and office space via the University of Southampton’s SETsquared program. This scheme offers support to businesses in tech, green energy, health, telecoms and others.

How much is it to rent an office space in Southampton?

One of the key benefits of finding offices to rent in Southampton is affordability.

Renting office space in an expensive location like London can be as much as £500 per person per month. In contrast, office space in Southampton with Regus starts from just £45 per person per month.

This offers many financial benefits to start-up and growing businesses, who can invest the money saved on office space in other areas.

Office spaces in Southampton

There are many options available for office space in Southampton.

Choosing your ideal office space may depend on your business industry, budget or need for international travel.

With Regus, you can rent office space in Southampton at the following locations:

Cumberland House

Cumberland House stands out as an ultra-modern office space with scenic views of Isaac Watts Park. Its prime location offers the convenience of being just a short walk from Southampton Central Station and the vibrant Southampton Solent University.

Positioned at the heart of the city, it provides easy access to cultural landmarks like the O2 Guildhall and SeaCity Museum, as well as a variety of popular dining options.

This combination of modern facilities, strategic location, and nearby amenities makes Cumberland House an ideal choice for businesses seeking a dynamic and accessible urban setting.

Highlights include

● Bicycle storage
● Business lounge
● Disabled facilities

Information about Cumberland House

● Location: 15-17 Cumberland Place, Southampton, SO15 2BG
● Starting cost: Private offices from £175 per person per month
● Opening hours: Private Office and Dedicated Desk access is 24/7 access; Memberships access during reception hours
● Nearby stations: The Cenotaph Bus Stop (a five-minute walk away) and Southampton Central Train Station (a 12-minute walk away)

Andersons Road

Andersons Road offers affordable office solutions for businesses with a variety of needs. Strategically located near the city centre, adjacent to Ocean Village and the Itchen Bridge, it provides a dynamic and accessible business environment.

This colourful office environment caters to everyone from solo entrepreneurs to well-established companies, with options ranging from compact offices to spacious suites.

The space boasts high-speed WiFi, fully serviced meeting rooms, and a welcoming reception team, creating a supportive and efficient work setting ideal for businesses seeking flexibility and convenience.

Highlights include

● Disabled facilities
● On-site parking
● Showers

Information about Andersons Road

● Location: Basepoint Southampton, Andersons Road, Southampton, SO14 5PE 
● Starting cost: Private offices from £45 per person per month
● Opening hours: Private Office and Dedicated Desk access is 24/7 access; Memberships access during reception hours
● Nearby stations: Itchen Bridge West Bus Stop (a three-minute walk away) and Anglesea Terrace Bus Stop (a five-minute walk away)

Southampton Airport

Located just a five-minute walk from Southampton Airport and adjacent to the M27, our Southampton Airport centre combines transport accessibility with a vibrant business atmosphere.

Nestled in Southampton International Business Park, it is both a hub for commercial activity but also a thriving community where businesses can connect with like-minded professionals.

Ideal for companies seeking effortless travel connections, this location offers significant logistical advantages. It also provides access to Southampton's vibrant business community, fostering a thriving professional network for its occupants.

Highlights include

● Showers
● Disabled facilities
● Sandwich service 

Information about Southampton Airport

● Location: International House, George Curl Way, Southampton, SO18 2RZ
● Starting cost: Private offices from £ 165 per person per month
● Opening hours: Private Office and Dedicated Desk access is 24/7 access; Memberships access during reception hours
● Nearby stations: Southampton Airport Parkway Rail Station (a five-minute walk away), Post Office Centre Bus Stop (a five-minute walk away), and Airport Terminal Bus Stop (a nine-minute walk away)

Find office space in Southampton with Regus

Whether you’re looking for serviced offices in Southampton or the flexibility of a coworking space, Regus can help. Contact one of our specialists today to find the workspace solution that can help your business grow.

Topics in this article

  • Area Guides


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