Office Space to Let Colchester – Five Reasons to Base Your Start-up Business in the County Town of Essex

The demand for offices to let in Colchester and the surrounding area is rising steadily, in line with the general rise in economic confidence nationally, and here at The Gattinetts in nearby East Bergholt we are noticing a definite rise in occupancy for our office and workshop space.

As local providers of office space to let in the Essex area, we are closely in touch with what’s happening in the local business environment and what factors are influencing small businesses in their choice of where to locate.

Here we take a look at five key factors which make Colchester and the surrounding region a better than average location for start-ups and small businesses.

1. Proximity to London – Without London Prices
Rail journey times from Colchester to London Liverpool Street are around an hour (often significantly less on express services). This means that many Colchester residents commute to London for work – but it also means that Colchester based businesses can quite easily develop a London clientele, but without having London rental costs to contend with.
For businesses based at The Gattinetts, Manningtree Station is just five minutes away and travel time into London in just an extra 10 minutes.

2. Affluent Customer Base
According to a recent Colchester Quarterly Economic Report, published by Colchester Borough Council, employment levels in the Colchester area is 77.5% – significantly above both the regional average (75.1%) and the average for Great Britain (71.2%). This high level of employment is supported by a range of factors, including proximity to London as well as significant local employment opportunities. The town is home to a large army garrison, as well as many large companies including Nordson DAGE (manufacturers of X-ray equipment) and Hiscox Insurance.

Employment and enterprise are also actively supported by a number of local initiatives aimed at helping entrepreneurs to turn business ideas into reality, most notably the Colchester Enterprise Hub, which aims to promote digital start-ups, and Colbea (Colchester’s centre of excellence for business incubation). So whether your business is aimed at consumers or businesses, Colchester provides a thriving customer base for start-ups to target, as well as a positive and supportive environment to help entrepreneurs get started.

3. Good Infrastructure
Road, rail and internet infrastructure are all well developed, providing businesses in the area with easy distribution and communication links. The electrified London rail line also connects Colchester to the rest of East Anglia via Ipswich and Norwich, while also providing links to the Midlands via Cambridge. Alternatively, the A12 provides a fast north-south road link, with the A14 intersection at Ipswich, just 20 minutes to the north, giving access to the west and north.

Fibre optic broadband is widely available to homes and businesses, and good broadband speeds are also available throughout the surrounding region. High speed broadband is being actively promoted as a strategic imperative by Colchester Borough Council, who see good connectivity as a key to economic prosperity.

4. Talented Workforce
In the 2011 Census an astonishing 27% of adults were recorded as being qualified to degree level or equivalent professional education in the Colchester area. This is almost certainly influenced by the presence of the University of Essex and the Colchester Institute in the town; and of course many young people from the local area gain qualifications here and then look for work in the local area. The University and the Institute both provide education in a broad base of subjects including science, technology, economics and business, as well as a great number of practical and vocational courses including digital and creative media. Start-ups requiring raw talent to help them build their businesses will therefore find a rich source of potential local recruits here.

5. Quality of Life
If your business is based in Colchester you have access to wide range of cultural amenities within the town itself (including theatre, cinema, art centre, museums and leisure centres) as well as being just a few minutes away from beautiful countryside. Evening trips into London by train can be easily arranged, as can family days out to the beach at Brightlingsea, just a few miles away, or other popular destinations such as Clacton-on-Sea.

While there is a large choice of offices to let within Colchester town centre itself, it is also possible to benefit from all these aspects by renting workspace out of town in more rural areas, which frequently offer better value rents as well as easier parking and transport access. The Gattinetts is currently home to a wide variety of businesses.

To find out more about accommodation currently available at The Gattinetts, please contact us by clicking on the link.

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