OFFICE SPACE IN CAMBRIDGE – NO ROOM AT THE INN?

Joel Fayers

It is safe to say that 2017 has been a busy year for the Snapdragon team.

January saw us move from our broom cupboard/two-person office in Wellington House on East Road to the Mantle Business Centre at 20 Station Road.

We originally wished to stay in the Regus building, but they didn’t have any availability for a few months which was too long a period to wait for. We embarked on the dreaded mission of searching for alternative office space in Cambridge City Centre.

Long story short – it doesn’t exist!

There are some wonderful spaces available on the outskirts of the city and the surrounding villages. The science and business parks offer great facilities but for a company which has a London office, proximity to the train station is number one on the list of requirements.

Being based in the heart of the CB1 development has certainly made life easier in terms of meetings and coming and going from Cambridge.

The East of England team is now in the process of growing again so the fun task of looking for office space is high on my agenda. It’s safe to say that office space in the city hasn’t improved over the past 11 months.

There is a severe lack of serviced-office space in Cambridge. For a city which is part of the so-called “Golden Triangle” and a world-leading location for research and tech start-ups, you would have thought that there is an opportunity for other companies to offer serviced-offices. Snapdragon have previously worked for and used to be in offices run by Workspace. There is a real opportunity for new players to enter the market – they are certainly needed!

The only other option is for large office space. When I saw an advert for a suite – I thought I’d struck gold… until reading on to discover it was for nearly 3,500 sq ft. We have ambitious plans to grow the East of England team over the coming year, but not that much!

For Snapdragon at PLMR, we don’t have the option to leave the City due to us being very much at the heart of the places we work in. For other companies however, it is very easy to see how they would find it logical to leave Cambridge altogether – the thought has certainly crossed our mind.

The choice for us is between moving to a larger space in our current office block or sub-letting from another company. You would not have this problem in London!
As we approach the Christmas break, this problem will most definitely fall into the “to be completed next year” pile.

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