Summer sees take-up soar in Cambridge

11 October 2016

According to Savills, take-up in the Cambridge office market hit circa 200,000 sq ft (18,580 sq m) in July and August alone, reflecting a 21% increase on the H116 total of 165,000 sq ft (15,329 sq m). Despite a slow start to 2016, figures suggest it is now business as usual for Cambridge post-Brexit.

In the last two months, there have been a number of transactions that have seen international occupiers commit to the region, rubber stamping the city’s reputation as a world class centre for R&D, innovation and technology. Examples include, Enplas Corporation, a Japanese life sciences and engineering firm, who has recently taken 1,515 sq ft (140 sq m) of space at Chesterford Research Park and SBM Life Science UK Ltd. The French company, SBM, recently acquired part of Bayer Environmental Science, and will be focusing on biologics, soils and fertilizer products from its new 4,571 sq ft (424 sq m) UK and Ireland headquarters at Technopark.

Furthermore, Cambridge has also encountered a number of new entrants, mostly in the tech sector. These businesses have continued to migrate towards the city centre, adding to the growing cluster of incumbent occupiers. Bateman House, for instance, located on Hills Road, has almost reached full occupation in the past 12 months, welcoming five new tech companies to the area. These include Genestack, Intrasonics, Docker, Electric Imp and Malin Life Sciences. They have joined established businesses such as Raspberry Pi, who took more than 7,000 sq ft (650 sq m) at 30 Station Road and Astra Zeneca, who now occupy a total of circa 59,000 sq ft (5,481 sq m) at Academy House and City House, also on Hills Road, cementing the city centre’s status as a growing tech and pharmaceutical hub.

As a result, Savills remain confident that businesses are taking their finger off of the pause button and are now starting to look for new space in the city. Existing occupiers, mostly start-ups, who have outgrown incubator space in the business and innovation parks, are now looking to move into bigger and more central premises.

William Clarke, associate director of business space at Savills Cambridge, comments: “The amount of space currently under offer almost certainly signifies an end to the period of indecision that occurred in the first six months of the year prior to the referendum. This latest activity is a testament to the underlying strength of the Cambridge market.  Whilst there is undoubtedly some uncertainty still to come, we are confident that Cambridge will continue to weather the storm well.

“Overall, supply still remains low, however there is  hope that this positive sentiment will encourage further development in the city, which in turn should have a good impact on the market as a whole.”


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