Preston office leasing reaches six-year high

By Tim Aldred

03 Apr 2024

Winckley Square Interior

Boosted by the opening of a number of new co-working spaces, new figures have revealed that Preston's office leasings currently sit at a six-year high.

According to a study by CoStar, leasing volumes amounted to 129,000 sq ft last year, the highest level since 2017 and 23 per cent above the 10-year annual average of 105,000 sq ft.

The occupancy rate in Preston had previously dipped during the pandemic, with the vacancy rate reaching 9 per cent in early 2023. However, recent letting activity and the change of some space to residential use have helped bring it down to 6.4 per cent.

Preston has proven to be an ideal spot for coworking and hybrid working, with its connections to the M6 and motorways heading west to Blackpool and east to Blackburn and Burnley. It also lies on the West Coast mainline with fast services to London and Glasgow.

The city has attracted two new projects in the last 12 months. In February last year, W_rkspace took 23,800 sq ft at Grade II-listed Amounderness House, which has since been refurbished with help from the government’s National Towns Fund.

In February this year, Barcelona-based OneCoWork entered into a management agreement in February with landlord Branco Capital on a 32,000 sq ft letting at Winckley Square (pictured above) – representing its first coworking site anywhere in the UK.

Coworking company BizSpace already has a large presence in the town.

The public sector has also contributed, with the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities taking on 20,330 sq ft at Diadem House on Pavilions Business Park. The public sector is a large employer in Preston, with both the Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC already having a substantial presence.

In one of the larger deals, accountancy firm RSM committed to a 10-year term on 19,800 sq ft at Bluebell House late last year.

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