Research by Savills suggests Oxford saw a sharp rise in venture capital investment (VC) in the final quarter of last year, bucking the national trend.
Data from Savills’ co-working brokering division, Workthere, reports that the city saw a year-on-year increase of 131 per cent and was second only to Newcastle which had a rise of 285 per cent. In all, major cities outside London saw a rise of 26 per cent to £1.1 billion.
But the figures come against a backdrop of a 10 per cent drop over the whole year, from £3.1bn in 2017 to £2.8bn in 2018.
Workthere’s Freddie Ward said: “VC investment inflows across the UK is not only a strong indicator of higher growth companies, but it also highlights the emergence of hotspots for start-ups and smaller companies that are expanding, which can directly link to a demand in the flexible office market.
“It is no surprise that central London accounted for the majority of the total VC investment last year at six per cent.
However, what is interesting is that much of the VC investment outside of the capital is directed at cities with established universities and therefore have a consistent flow of new talent entering the workforce potentially looking to create new businesses of their own or aid the expansion of others.”
Workthere reports Oxford and Cambridge are seeing a significant rise in demand for laboratory space.
Steven Lang, research director at Savills, said: “Over the last 12 months the traditional technology, media & telecoms sector has attracted the lion’s share of VC investment accounting for 25 per cent.
“However, we are seeing other sectors such as life sciences, including oncology, expanding their appeal, which could start to have a visible impact take-up for flexible laboratory space.”