London is the largest, most populous and capital city of England, UK, accounting for a large proportion of the country’s economic, social and historical activity. It has been at the heart of life on the British Isles since it was founded on the banks of the River Thames almost 2,000 years ago.
The breadth of the city’s appeal famously led legendary essayist and long-time London resident Samuel Johnson to claim that “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”
Johnson lived and died in the 1700s but the same could still be said of what is now a very modern and vibrant city that retains a huge array of influences and a reputation for being one of the most dynamic urban centres anywhere in the world.
Greater London covers an area of just over 1,500 square miles in the south-east of England and has a population of close to 8 million people. This area includes Central London incorporating the City of London, Canary Wharf and Docklands, and the West End, all of which boast some of the most desirable serviced offices and managed office space destinations in the UK.
As the capital of the country, London plays host to the iconic Palace of Westminster, more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament, as well as the bureaucratic and diplomatic centres of Whitehall and Downing Street.
Much of Greater London’s architecture and topography bears witness to its heritage as a long-standing centre of innovation, imagination and global trade, with old and new environments combining at every turn to make the city a hugely interesting and exciting place to visit.
And with world-renowned business centres, enviable transport links and a huge variety of entertainment destinations, there is little wonder why London remains high-up on most people’s list of the greatest cities in which to live and work.
London has played a major role in the development and progress of the global economy over the past centuries and the city continues to be regarded as a financial powerhouse, along with fellow ‘world cities’ like Tokyo, Paris and New York.
Indeed, a recent report from accountancy and professional services giant PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) reckoned London to have the sixth largest city economy in the world and the second largest in Europe.
When it’s surrounding areas are brought into the equation, the city be can said to generate close to 30 per cent of the annual GDP of the entire United Kingdom. Household names like Reuters, Barclays, HSBC and dozens of others have their headquarters in London and three-quarters of all Fortune 500 companies have leasehold offices or rented office space under their name somewhere in the city.
Response to the downturn
Like every other major financial centre, London has been affected by the global economic downturn but business experts speaking to PwC recently made clear that much of its competitive advantages have been retained and will be built upon over the course of the coming decades.
The same study, released in July 2010, suggests that Asian financial centres will continue to grow their influence in international markets but that the UK and London in particular has “all the advantages needed to retain its global pre-eminence in financial services”.
Office Space to rent in London
Many of the world’s largest and most influential companies occupy leasehold offices and serviced offices in London, with the City, Canary Wharf and Docklands, and the West End among the most popular destinations for top firms.
The City of London, or the ‘Square Mile’ as it is known, has been at the heart of the wider conurbation’s development since the earliest onset and it continues to represent a dominant force within the global financial services industry.
When it comes to professional services, other areas of the city are becoming increasingly important areas of activity. Not least Canary Wharf, where serviced office spaces accommodate numerous multinational banking institutions, as well as major legal sector players and media industry corporations.
Meanwhile, both rented and leasehold office space in the Docklands area are gaining popularity as what used to the largest port in the world is transformed into one of the most dynamic enterprise zones in Europe.
Demand for rented office space could soon be on the increase across the city with the economic downturn having resulted in a sharp decline in the number of office space developments being built in recent months.
According to the latest figures from Drivers Jonas Deloitte, only 5.7 million square feet of office space is currently under construction, which the company suggests will lead to the “acutest shortage of new supply since our records began back in the early 1980s”.
If you’re looking for serviced offices, managed offices, virtual offices leasehold offices or business centres in the City of London, Canary Wharf and Docklands, the West End or any other London destination then why not search TheOfficeProviders.com’s database – details are listed for all currently available office space in London.
There’s no denying London’s reputation as a difficult place to get around by car, but the advent of the Congestion Charge in 2003 has meant that the city’s infamous traffic jams are not quite as bad as they used to be and you can always hop in a much-loved Hackney Carriage.
There are five major airports linking the capital with the rest of the country, Europe and the world, namely Gatwick, Luton, Stanstead, London City Airport and Heathrow, which is the world’s busiest transport hub and sits on the western edge of Greater London in the Borough of Hillingdon.
Elsewhere, almost 400 kilometres of Underground rapid transit tracks link the length and breadth of what is by far the UK’s largest conurbation, while close to 8,000 iconic red buses weave their way between the traffic on a daily basis.
London’s cultural appeal is extraordinary and it is easy to see why with permanent features like the West End theatre district, the Royal Opera House, the Natural History Museum and Wembley Arena, as well as annual events like the London Marathon, London Fashion Week and the British Film Institute London Film Festival.
A total of five English Premier League football teams play their home matches in the capital, with tens of thousands of fans visiting Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and West Ham United on a weekly basis.
The Wimbledon Tennis Championships take place in south-west London each summer and the biggest sporting event in the world will soon be hosted in the east of the city when the Olympic Games come to town in 2012.