24 March 2022/ Industrial guides

Find your next industrial property to rent in Edinburgh

Find your next industrial property to rent in Edinburgh

The relentless rise in demand for industrial property across the UK shows no sign of slowing down. The inevitable results are a shortage of suitable properties and rapidly rising prices for those industrial sites that are available. The problem is double edged: the rise of ecommerce and a lack of new buildings thanks to restrictions on planning and construction. So demand and prices are increasing steadily while supply fails to keep up.

With the situation particularly acute in London and the South East, many companies are looking further afield across the UK for the right industrial spaces. Here’s where a major hub and capital city such as Edinburgh can provide the solution.

With a population of 490,000 and a workforce of 277,400, Scotland’s historic capital is a nerve centre for many industries and sectors, such as IT, retail, tourism and science, and boasts the second largest financial services industry in the UK after London. The technology sector is partly driven by ‘home-grown’ expertise from the city’s universities, which has sparked major growth in software companies during the last decade.

Edinburgh has the strongest economy outside of London, and although city centre space has become limited – a victim of the city’s success – the out-of-town industrial park sector has grown dramatically.

Industrial space in and around Edinburgh

Find your next industrial property to rent in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has a diverse choice of thriving industrial parks, such as Baileyfield Road Industrial Estate in the eastern suburb of Portobello, Royal Elizabeth Yard north west of the city, Seafield on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, and Duddington Yards in Edinburgh’s east, next to Holyrood Park. There are nearly 50 to choose from in total, on every scale, from city suburbs to the waterfront.

The world-famous industrial city of Glasgow is of course a near neighbour to Edinburgh, just 47 miles away and easily accessed via the M8 motorway and by trains that run every 20 minutes.

Getting around Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s road network

As a major capital city, Edinburgh is extremely well connected by road. Routes across Scotland and into England provide the kind of regional reach and intercity access that you would expect. The M8 is the main artery between Edinburgh and Glasgow, while the A1 to Berwick-upon-Tweed continues all the way to London. Linking these two routes is the A720 Edinburgh City Bypass, which skirts the southern fringes of the city – this is one of Scotland’s main trunk roads.

Rail connections

Edinburgh’s rail connections can take you directly to cities across the UK, such as Glasgow, Aberdeen, Birmingham, London and many more. The main station is Waverley, which is between the Old and New Towns. The second largest station is Haymarket, located in the West End. There are connections to a network of smaller stations, making train travel an efficient and viable option for the area.

Additionally, Edinburgh has a modern tram network, introduced in 2014. This award-winning, cutting-edge service connects you to 15 destinations within the city in a matter of minutes, and is also connected to Edinburgh Airport. This excellent service runs from 5:29am to 11:08pm.

Extensive bus network

Because Edinburgh is a relatively compact major city, it’s very easy to get around by bus. It’s also getting even easier, thanks to careful integration with the recently developed tram service. Providers Lothian Buses and First Bus have created an extensive network that easily accesses all key business and industrial areas, as well as cultural, entertainment and residential centres.

Air routes

Conveniently located just eight miles west of the city centre, Edinburgh Airport connects you to more than 120 destinations around the world, and that number is always growing. The busiest airport in Scotland, it handles more than 12 million passengers every year, boarding domestic, European, transatlantic and Middle Eastern flights. Well connected to Edinburgh’s heart, the tram system will take you to the airport in less than 35 minutes.

Business amenities in Edinburgh

Business hotels in Edinburgh

Naturally Edinburgh has a wealth of good hotels at every price level, with plenty that are tailor-made for business. There are short-stay and affordable options, such as Travelodge and Premier Inn, which offer easy accessibility to business parks and transport links. Equally there are many excellent mid-price options, such as the Hampton by Hilton Edinburgh West End, Frederick House Hotel, just 0.2 miles from the city centre, and Cityroomz Edinburgh, which is centrally located and just a few minutes’ walk from the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Premium hotels include The Balmoral, a five-star hotel which is a true Edinburgh landmark, thanks to its huge clock tower, and the luxurious country house-style Prestonfield House, nestling in grounds a short distance from the centre.

Numerous retail spaces in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has a real depth of industrial spaces, but naturally it is also well stocked with prime and convenient shopping areas, catering for residents and the millions of tourists who visit each year.

Famously, the Royal Mile is full of high-quality brand names, traditional fashion shops and souvenir centres. Princes Street in the New Town is home to a number of major department stores and international brands, while George Street houses high-end boutiques and the most exclusive names. Grassmarket is the place to head for innovative, alternative and artisan goods and creative independents, while Duncan Street is famous for its art and antiques. There are plenty of shopping centres too, such as the impressive, contemporary Ocean Terminal on the waterfront adjacent to the Royal Yacht Britannia and Princes Mall on Princes Street.

Meeting rooms in Edinburgh

There is a wide range of bookable meeting space available across Edinburgh, whether you need an intimate space for 10 colleagues or an impressive venue for hundreds. In the heart of the magnificent Old Town, Fraser Suites Edinburgh provides a versatile meeting room, complete with projectors and wall screens. The setting is peerless, with views across Princes Street Gardens and a prestigious atmosphere. On Edinburgh’s world-famous Royal Mile, Radisson Blu Edinburgh is a stylish hotel with eight conference rooms and the capacity for up to 250 delegates. The Cosla Conference Centre to the west of the city is also a large capacity meeting venue, with space for up to 200 delegates or guests. Just a few minutes from Haymarket Station and on the bus route for the Airport Express, the location is ideal for stress-free access.

Evening entertainment in Edinburgh

It is often said that Edinburgh truly comes alive at night, so finding sources of entertainment will be a pleasure – there is a huge choice available from dining and drinking, to local history, music, drama and sport. Exploring the Royal Mile reveals countless shops and cafes, bars and restaurants. The historic Princes Street and the Grassmarket are both a few minutes away. On the top of Castle Hill is the Camera Obscura, where mind-boggling illusions have entertained visitors for over 160 years. On the sixth-floor roof terrace, an incomparable view over the Royal Mile, Castle and the Firth of Forth awaits.

Notable industrial tenants in Edinburgh

Find your next industrial property to rent in Edinburgh

  • Baillie Gifford
  • Black & White Publishing
  • McVitie’s
  • Pringle of Scotland
  • RBS

Key industrial agents in Edinburgh

  • CBRE
  • Culverwell
  • Instant Offices
  • Knight Frank
  • Eric Young & Company

The future of industrial space in Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s industrial property market is extremely buoyant, in part because of its prominence, location and heritage as a great capital and trade centre. The city’s excellent transport links are also key factors. But recent trends and shifting patterns are also important. UK business has seen a movement away from emphasis on London and the South East of England, driven by overcrowding and the desire to simplify or localise supply chains.

Key developments such as the Newbridge site near Edinburgh airport highlight the healthy state of the city’s industrial property sector, even in challenging times. Aimed squarely at smaller and medium-sized business, the location will initially offer 14 industrial units.

Research from property adviser Colliers International has indicated that industrial investment activity has been on the rise – during the summer of 2020 the sum reached £80 million, which was 40% higher than the five-year quarterly average. Overseas investors, especially those from Asia are particularly interested in the Scottish industrial sector. Thanks to an enviable combination of assets, proximity and worldwide market developments, the demand for industrial space in and around Edinburgh will only strengthen.