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Old Street Office Space

Since the late 2000s, office space in Old Street has been popular with a wide array of businesses from various sectors.

Geographically, Old Street is a 1-mile (1.6 km) street in northeast Central London that runs west to east from Goswell Road in Clerkenwell via St Luke’s and Old Street Roundabout, to the crossroads where it meets Shoreditch High Street (south), Kingsland Road (north) and Hackney Road (east) in Shoreditch. It starts in the London Borough of Islington and ends in the London Borough of Hackney.

It is so-named because it is a significantly old street — in maps from the mid-16th century, it was already referred to as Old Street. It was recorded as Ealdestrate in the mid-13th century and le Oldestrete in 1373 and recognised as a Roman by-pass of Londinium, today known as the City of London. Today, at the crossroads of the street with Shoreditch High Street is the beginning of a road originally laid out by the Romans that leads to Lincoln.

Old Street now refers to the area surrounding the street that has been popular with technology start-ups since the late 2000s. Due to the occupiers that gravitated to the area, this area earned the alias East London Tech City and Old Street Roundabout the moniker Silicon Roundabout.

The area’s popularity accelerated in 2012 when Google opened its Campus on nearby Bonhill Street. The multi-storey office property allowed the tech giant to engage with and support the next generation of startups and featured coworking spaces, event spaces, device labs, and accelerator space.

This led to the area becoming a hive of start-up activity. By 2015, there were 3,228 tech firms for every square kilometre within Old Street’s EC1V postcode, compared to 58 tech firms per square kilometre across the rest of London.

With its proximity to the City of London, financial technology (Fintech) companies were drawn to the area. However, the breadth of specialisms was vast with agriculture technology (Agritech), fashion technology (Fashtech), Food technology (Foodtech), health technology (Healthtech), medical technology (Medtech), and property technology (Proptech) companies, as well as others choosing to rent office space in the locale.

Historically, the area was relatively poor compared to the City of London and was also known as the City Fringe. Its characterful mix of architecture lent itself perfectly to street art, and works by renowned artist Bansky have appeared in the vicinity on several occasions. This backdrop also made it a magnet for businesses within the creative sectors.

With the demands created by these businesses, landlords in Old Street have supplied a wide range of highly specified office spaces supported with state-of-the-art technology such as super-fast and secure IT, and premium amenities ranging including barista bars, lounges, gyms, relaxation rooms, inspiring break-out spaces, tech-enabled collaboration spaces and striking indoor and outdoor event spaces perfectly designed for pitches and product launches, all with a relaxed and non-corporate feel.

A vast array of flexible office space and workspace providers in Old Street have met these companies’ demands by providing offices available on short-term licences that can be easily extended and contracts that allow for rapid growth within a building. Additionally, these workspaces, which include private serviced offices and managed suites and floors, are available with all-inclusive pricing, meaning that the monthly rental fee covers items such as utilities, cleaning, furnishing, reception, business support and other services for management efficiencies.

Many of these flex space options are Cat A or ready-fitted, plug-and-play office spaces, requiring little or no upfront capital expenditure.

This generation of businesses has specified that office space meets their own environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements, so the majority of offices are sustainable and environmentally friendly, consciously sourcing renewable energy, engaging with practices including recycling and rainwater harvesting and offering facilities such as bicycle storage and showers to facilitate carbon-neutral modes of commuting.

In addition to the highly specified business space options provided by the area, Old Street attracts businesses that are attracted by the locale’s commercial ecosystem and the diverse, first-class talent pool.

The Old Street area continues to thrive, and its boundaries have expanded to include Aldgate, Clerkenwell, Shoreditch and Stratford, leading to a broader encompassing designation as London’s Tech Belt, with Old Street remaining as its natural nucleus.

At its core, businesses are served by Old Street Station and Shoreditch High Street Station and are spoilt for choice with a dazzling array of amenities both on the doorstep and the City, which is just minutes away.

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