Business booming in Leith as office space take up soars

The regeneration of Leith continues to go from strength to strength, according to statistics from GVA.

In the first half of 2018, transactions in the area totalled 18,500 sq. ft, with a further 35,000 sq. ft. of space under offer. This totals 53,500 sq. ft., an increase of 27% from the 42,125 sq. ft. of space transacted in all of 2017 and a massive 72% rise from 31,000 sq. ft. in 2015.

As well as an upturn in commercial office uptake, Leith has seen a resurgence in bars, restaurants and leisure options in recent years and comparison website TravelSupermarket named it second in the UK in its ‘hippest place’ index for 2017.

Peter Fraser, Director of Business Space for GVA, said: “The speed of the revitalisation of Leith has been remarkable and it is an enviable place to live and work, which in turn leads to increased interest in businesses to be based there.

“We have seen a real mix of commercial occupiers take space over the past 12 months, including creative firms, estate agents, website developers, security service providers and more. This activity has been supplemented by several lease extensions and re-gears from blue-chip companies such as Mastercard through to charities including the Stroke Association.”

Rents are as much as 40% lower in Leith compared to Edinburgh city centre, where there is a lack of Grade A supply against demand.

Fraser said: “There is no doubt Leith has benefitted from the limited supply in the centre of Edinburgh, but the area has only begun to realise its incredible potential. Leith has an abundance of brownfield sites which could be used to create larger developments and soak up some of the demand from the city centre.

“The proposed tram extension to Newhaven could also stimulate business, improve connectivity and encourage development across Edinburgh as a whole.”