4 October 2019/ rent_commercial_property

Guide to renting commercial property in the Midlands

The Midlands is made up of 11 counties. Commonly split into the East Midlands and the West Midlands, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland lie to the east. Shropshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire are all situated in the west.

Within these counties, the Midlands holds an industrial past, and much of the history can still be seen in cities such as Birmingham and Coventry. Commonly dubbed ‘Britain’s Second City’, Birmingham is perhaps the most visited and well-known city in the Midlands. It’s also a popular destination for business meetings and conferences, as it benefits from good transport links from across the UK and plenty of quality accommodation.

The Midlands also has its fair share of historical buildings and sites of interest, which attract tourists from all over the world. From William Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon in the south-west to Lincoln Cathedral in the north-east, there are plenty of things to see and do. There are a number of stately homes in the region, including Deene Park in Northamptonshire and Chatsworth House in the Peak District in Derbyshire.

To the east, Skegness makes up part of a coastal region that’s become popular among those looking for beach holidays and coastal walks. The nearby Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Natural Beauty and Peak District further inland are favourite destinations for those looking to get back to nature.

11 million people live in the Midlands

The Midlands is home to 11 million people and counting. The region’s population has grown by over a million since 2002, which means there are now 379 residents per square kilometre and the average household has 2.4 inhabitants. Although the average age is set at 40.2, the West Midlands has the lowest number of the region, at 39.8. This makes it the second youngest region in the UK, behind London, at 36.2.

Splitting the Midlands up into its counties, the northern regions are far more densely populated than the southern ones, in general. Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire all have 1.1 million residents, while Derbyshire and Leicestershire have 1 million each.

These counties also have lower average ages and higher numbers of residents per square kilometre. Lincolnshire has the highest average age of these counties, at 42.7, but the lowest population density, at 156 residents per square kilometre. Staffordshire and Derbyshire both have average ages of 41.6, but the former has 415 people per square kilometre, while the latter has 400. In Nottinghamshire, the average age is 39.9 and there are 531 residents per square kilometre. The people of Leicestershire are the youngest in the Midlands, averaging 39.3, and the county has 484 residents per square kilometre.

The population figures drop as we approach the south of the Midlands region. Northamptonshire has the highest number of residents, at 741,000, and the lowest average age, at 39.9. It also has 314 people per square kilometre.

Working down in terms of population, Worcestershire has 588,000 residents, 338 people per square kilometre and an average age of 42.8. Warwickshire has 565,000 residents, and 286 people per square kilometre and an average age of 41.8. To the north-west, Shropshire has a population of 493,000 and 141 people per square kilometre. Its average age is 42.4.

Herefordshire and Rutland have much lower populations and population density figures and higher average ages. Herefordshire has 185,000 residents and just 88 people per square kilometre. Their ages average 43.9. The relatively small county of Rutland has just 39,500 residents and 103 people per square kilometre. It also has the Midlands’ highest average age, at 44.1.

Warwick has the highest average salary in the Midlands

Considering house prices, the Midlands ranks in the centre of the UK regions. The average property price is £218,000, falling just after London, the South East, the East of England and the South West.

In terms of salaries, the Midlands ranges by £13,600 from its highest to lowest county. Warwick has the highest average income, at £41,900, and Leicester has the lowest, at £28,300. Second highest is Derby, with an average salary of £39,600, followed by Rutland, at £34,600; Northampton (£33,200); Nottingham (£32,600); Worcester (£31,400); Lincoln (£31,100); Shropshire (£30,900); Stafford (£30,100); and Herefordshire (£28,700).

Getting to the Midlands

The Midlands has two major airportsBirmingham International Airport is located 15 kilometres outside of the city and is easily accessible from Birmingham and Coventry. Further north, the East Midlands Airport offers flights to domestic and European destinations. It sits between Leicester and Derby and it’s also just a half-hour drive from Nottingham.

There are well connected rail networks in the MidlandsThe two principal rail companies serving the region are the East Midlands Railway (EMR) and West Midlands Railway (WMR). Together, they provide transport links to most major towns and cities. The West Midlands Railway has trainlines from Hereford to Lichfield via Birmingham, and Shrewsbury to Coventry via Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

By using Great Western Railway, London North Western Railway and Cross Country Trains, you can also get to Crewe, Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford from Lichfield, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Coventry, Northampton and Milton Keynes.

The East Midlands Railway provides train links from Peterborough to Doncaster via Lincoln, and from London St Pancras to Sheffield via Leicester, Loughborough and Derby. You can also get from Liverpool Lime St to Norwich via Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham and Peterborough.

There’s an excellent road network across the Midlands If you’re travelling by car, you’ll be able to use the motorways that run through the Midlands. These include the M5, which stretches from Bristol and the South West up to Birmingham via Worcester. The M6 takes you from Rugby to Manchester, and the North West via Coventry, Walsall, Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent. If you’re starting out in London or the South East, use the M1 to get to Leeds and the North East via Northampton, Rugby, Leicester, Loughborough and Nottingham. Using the M40 and M6, it shouldn’t take more than three hours to get to Birmingham from London.

Rent guide to the Midlands

Rent costs for commercial properties can vary hugely across the Midlands. At the highest end of the scale, Birmingham Grade A properties cost £34 per square foot (PSF) on average, while Grade A properties in Stafford cost just £14 PSF.

In order of price, here are average rental costs for Grade A and Grade B commercial properties in the Midlands:  


Grade A average rent (PSF)

Grade B average rent (PSF)



































Birmingham is the most expensive area to rent commercial property in, but there are ways to cut down on prices while staying near the city. Renting property in the NEC/Solihull area costs £25 for Grade A and £18 per Grade B property, potentially saving you £9 PSF. To cut costs even more, rent commercial property in Edgbaston, where Grade A properties cost, on average, £18.50 PSF and Grade B properties cost £10 per square foot.

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