Over the last 15 years or so, Stratford (east London) has been completely transformed. Previously somewhat of an economic black hole, pre-Olympics Stratford needed a lot of TLC to get it ready for London 2012. A colossal renovation project took place. Over 46,000 new jobs were created in the district, bringing with them a 30% increase in rail capacity and 20,000 new homes.
Fast forward to 2021, Stratford is now turning into an office hot-spot, with more and more businesses moving to the area. Transport for London, Cancer Research, the Financial Conduct Authority, Unicef and the British Council all now how Stratford bases.
So, what is it specifically that’s making Stratford so appealing to London businesses? In this article we look at the top 7 benefits of basing your office in Stratford.
Allow us to explain. Unlike more ‘traditional’ white collar centres in the city centre – Bank, Canary Wharf, Moorgate, etc – Stratford doesn’t quite have the sardine-like quality of central London. Traffic on the roads moves more freely and the streets around the office buildings aren’t as crowded with people. Those who work in Stratford often comment on how un-London parts of the area feel, with a distinct friendly community feel.
Businesses that move their offices to Stratford are joining a community that has existed for generations, long before the London even started its bid for the Olympics. To this day, there are still local shop-owners, pub landlords, train staff and more who have lived and worked in the area all their lives. This creates a real neighbourly feel that is rare to find in, say, the financial districts of London.
Imagine working just walking distance away from one of the largest urban shopping centres in Europe. The Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre opened its doors in 2011 and has so far generated retail sales of well over £7.4 billion. There are more than 265 different retailers, restaurants and bars to entertain your team on lunchtimes or after-work excursions.
Talking of what’s right on your doorstep in Stratford – there are all the fantastic sporting facilities you would expect of a former athletes village. The London Aquatics Centre is now a public-use swimming pool, the London Stadium plays host to West Ham football games (among other events) and open green spaces have been converted into handy outdoor gyms.
More and more people are commuting by bike in London in general. TFL estimates that almost 1 in 4 vehicles in the capital right now is a bike. Unsurprisingly for the home of the Lee Valley VeloPark, cyclists are particularly welcome in Stratford. Cycle lanes, quieter roads and an abundance of bike storage racks all make it easy to travel to your new Stratford office space on two wheels.
If you’re not keen on the idea of cycling to the office, Stratford is very convenient for other forms of commuting, too. Stratford underground, rail and DLR stations offer super-fast reliable links to the City, London City Airport, Eurostar and top commuting towns in Essex and to the east of London. What’s more the development of the Elizabeth Line (currently estimated to be open in late 2020) will further boost Stratford’s rail connectivity.
Rental prices for private offices are noticeably lower than what you could expect to find in more saturated central London locations. Commercial property prices in Stratford are 21.1% lower than the London average. Considering the recent investments in the area, the value that you get despite that price gap makes it an opportunity almost too good to pass on.
Want to take advantage of that value for money that you can get in Stratford? We have an introductory offer on offic space of just £350 per desk per month at our brand new Stratford work place. Find out more here.
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