A guide to serviced offices and office space for rent in Jersey as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting office space in Jersey.
History & Geography
The largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands, Jersey is approximately 12 miles from the French coast and 87 miles south of the British mainland. Officially a British Crown Dependency Jersey also includes a group of small islands which are no longer inhabited, the Minquiers and Ecrehous. Its unique position lying between France and England has meant that Jersey has a richer and more turbulent history than most. While there is evidence that the island was inhabited by Bronze and Iron Age people and may have even had Roman settlements, little is known about Jersey before the 11th century when it was seized by the Duke of Normandy, William Longsword. After William II’s victory at the Battle of Hastings Jersey remained as part of the King’s French possessions. However from the 13th century onwards ownership of Jersey and rest of the Channel Islands became a bone of contention between France and England. The 1259 Treaty of Paris formally gave up France’s claim to the islands, and the King of England in turn gave up his claim to Normandy. It was during this time that Mont Orgueil, Jersey’s imposing castle, was built to protect the island. During the subsequent Hundred Years War between France and England Jersey was attacked numerous times, and changed hands repeatedly. During the 16th and 17th centuries the island prospered from its production of knitwear and the population expanded significantly. During the 18th century Jersey was constantly on a war footing due to ongoing tensions with France, and in 1781 the French did indeed try to seize the island once more, but were repulsed. The 19th century saw the island continue to prosper, with both its agriculture and shipbuilding industries making it an economic powerhouse. Tourism also became an important industry for the island. During WWII Jersey was the only British territory to be occupied by the Germans, who built fortifications around the island. Since then Jersey has reinvented itself as a financial services centre and tax haven.
Financial services, agriculture and tourism are the mainstays of the Jersey economy. The island has an extremely high economic output per capita, more in fact that most developed nations, and Jersey’ s gross national income is almost GBP four billion. The financial services industry is the bulwark of the economy and is particularly strong in banking and fund management. Because of this resident on Jersey are a particular high amount of fund advisors and lawyers. Over 12,000 people on the island are employed by the financial services industry. Jersey is known as a tax haven attracting massive deposits from customers outside the island, and has been widely criticized for this fact. Deposits in Jersey banks are currently over GBP 200 billion. Another important industry to the island is agriculture, with Jersey cows still being world famous. Currently the Jersey Royal potato is island’s largest agricultural export. The other important industry for the island is tourism. After WWII Jersey saw a boom in its tourism industry, however this gradually declined during the 1980s and early 90s. Nevertheless tourism is still a major earner for Jersey.
Tourism & Culture
Every year over 700,000 tourists visit Jersey, attracted by its scenery, grand hotels, slow pace of life and mild weather. Jersey boasts several long sandy beaches as well as hiking trails with stunning vistas. Among the grand hotels on the island the most famous are the Hotel de France, overlooking the town of St Helier, St Brelade Bay’s Hotel L’Horizon, and the Pomme d’Or, overlooking St Helier’s Liberation Square. The island is also well known for its coastal spas as well as its restaurants. Typical Jersey cuisine is heavily based on seafood, especially mussels, oysters and crabs. Some distinctive dishes from the island are cabbage loaf, the doughnuts known as Jersey Wonders, bean crock, fliottes and nettle soup. Every July Jersey’s Grassroots Festival, a festival of music and art, attracts thousands of visitors, as does Jersey Live, an indie and dance music festival which has been growing in popularity. The imposing Mont Orgueil Castle is also a popular tourist attraction and features a variety of museum exhibits.
On the island itself buses are the main form of transportation. Liberation Station in St Helier is the hub of all Jersey’s bus routes including the EasyLink service, a hop-on hop-off bus route connecting all of Jersey’s beaches and other attractions. Cycling is popular on Jersey and a traffic free route connects St Helier and La Corbiere. The island is served by Jersey Airport, located in the parish of St Peter, approximately five miles away from St Helier. The airport serves locations in the UK and throughout the rest of Europe. Among the airlines which fly out of the airport are EasyJet, Air Berlin, Bmi Baby and Lufthansa.
Much of Jersey’s Grade A office space is located in the most populous parish of the island, St Helier. In St Helier the most popular area for having an office is Hill Street or Liberty Place owing to their proximity to the Royal Court, States Chambers and the main retail areas. Since the 1990s the core of the office market has been the Esplanade, which has been extensively redeveloped. The prime office rental rate stays relatively steady at approximately GBP 25 per square foot. Recently however due to increased demand and a limited supply rents have crept up.