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Record year for technology sector in Oxfordshire

Oxford Commercial Property Agency News

Oxford commercial property agency working with commercial landlords and tenants. Start-ups to established businesses. Office, retail, industrial and leisure sectors. 

Record year for technology sector in Oxfordshire

Amy Williams

In the recent article by Thames Tap it said that "Its annual commercial market report highlights that total take-up reached 488,999 sq ft - the highest on record and a 50 per cent increase on the 2016 level and at the same time recorded that 70 per cent (342,000 sq ft) of all office take up was to the technology sector.

The report says factors driving the high take up levels are a combination of the environment for entrepreneurship and innovation emanating from the universities, backed by newly available finance from Oxford Sciences Innovation plc, and the emergence of new flexible start up space throughout the county.

Some of these emerging companies are beginning to  dominate the larger end of the market. They include Immunocore and Apdaptimmune at Milton Park and Oxford Biomedica and Oxford Nanopore Technology in Oxford. 

VSL recorded 53 office transactions in 2017 with 31 (58 per cent) accounted for by the technology sector which continues to drive demand in the industrial market, now accounting for 28 per cent of take-up, a figure similar to that in 2016 but up from just five per cent in 2015.

The industrial market saw the best year for take-up since 2003 with the total reaching around 1.1 million sq ft and supply levels stable at 1,033,000 sq ft.

VSL director Richard Venables said: “Rents in both the office and industrial market have continued to increase. Prime office rents in Oxford city centre have now reached £30 per sq ft which will give further encouragement to developers to consider speculative development throughout the market.’’

Co-director Tom Barton said: “Industrial buildings that are suitable for the technology markets have seen the focus on rental growth, and rents at Oxford Industrial Park have now reached £12  per sq ft following a letting to Oxford Photovoltaics.  It is likely that these properties will continue to be the focus of rental growth during 2018.

“Oxford is the focus of considerable attention from Whitehall and the announcement in the Autumn Budget Statement of £215 million of funding towards its infrastructure will further improve the prospects for this area.  We are confident of the continued expansion of the technology sector and its positive impact on the commercial property market.” 

Source: Thames Valley Property No 99 (
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