2 October 2020/ Area guides

Office leasing guide: Cardiff

Offices to rent in Cardiff

The Welsh capital and eleventh largest city in the UK is a fantastic place to base your business. Even though it’s the smallest capital city in Europe, Cardiff is a commercial heavyweight in its own right. High end and high street stores line its streets, it has excellent transport links and you’ll find office space for every kind of business right across the city. And thanks to the presence of four universities – Cardiff University (member of the Russell Group), University of South Wales, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Cardiff Metropolitan University – you’ll have a large, highly-skilled pool of talent to pick from.

Cardiff’s coastal position meant it has spent much of its history as a fort town for Britain’s various conquerors, including the Romans and the Saxons. When Cardiff Castle was built in the late 11th century, the city began to expand around it, growing into a thriving port by the Middle Ages. When docks were built in the 19th century, many workers from England flocked to the town to work there, further fuelling Cardiff’s growth.

In 1955, Cardiff was officially recognised as the capital city of Wales and regular development, particularly in the Cardiff Bay and docks area, has helped it to continue thriving throughout the decades. While Cardiff attracts millions of tourists every year, it’s also an excellent place to be based. You’ll be within easy reach of many of the country’s most prominent cities, including London, Bristol and Birmingham, and can enjoy an endless array of entertainment options when the working day is done.

Want to find out more about renting an office in Cardiff? Here’s everything you need to know.

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Notable business areas in Cardiff

The Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone comprises much of the city centre. This loosely defined area is home to most of the city’s prime office space and most notable tenants, including Admiral Insurance. If you choose to base your business here, you’ll be within easy walking distance of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and retail centres, as well as handy amenities like gyms, hairdressers and post offices.

Cardiff is a prominent centre for the TV industry, with many of the BBC’s most popular programmes being filmed here. You’ll need to head out to Cardiff Bay to rub shoulders with the small screen stars. The BBC’s Roath Lock Drama Village is at the heart of the action, with shows like Casualty, Doctor Who and more calling it home. Other production companies have also chosen Cardiff as their regional base for Wales, including Channel 4 and Pinewood Studios.

The nearby Cardiff Docks is home to a number of industrial businesses, including Cemex, Biffa and many more around the Southpoint Industrial Estate. If you’re drawn to Cardiff for the commercial convenience of its coastal location, this is a great place to be based.

Travelling in and around Cardiff

There are 20 train stations in CardiffMost travellers arriving from outside the city will use one of the three central stations – Cardiff Queen Street, Cardiff Bay or Cardiff Central. Around 12.5 million people pass through Cardiff Central every year, making it Wales’ busiest station. However, if you live in the city’s suburbs, the abundance of rail stations makes it easy to commute in by train.

Plenty of bus services operate in CardiffThe main providers are Cardiff Bus and NAT Group, which offer services across the city and to nearby towns and cities including Penarth and Newport. National Express and Megabus also run services from Cardiff to various major cities, including Bristol, London and Manchester.

Cardiff is well connected by roadIt’s easy to reach Cardiff by road from all across the country, as it is connected to Newport, Bristol, Swansea and London via the M4. You can also travel to the Valleys using the A470, which connects to the major ‘Heads of the Valleys’ road.

You can travel by water in CardiffIf you’re hopping between the city centre and Cardiff Bay, or trying to reach Penarth Bay, you can catch one of the hourly Aquabus taxis. It’s an alternative way to travel that cuts out the traffic and lets you sightsee as you cruise along.

Cardiff Airport is half an hour outside the cityA short drive west to Rhoose will get you to Cardiff Airport, where you can catch both domestic and international flights. You can only catch short-haul flights from here, but it’s a convenient transport hub if you need to nip across to Europe or travel north for business.

Offices to let in Cardiff

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Business amenities in Cardiff

Cardiff has hotels for every type of business traveller

From affordable and functional to luxe and impressive, Cardiff’s range of hotels covers every kind of traveller. Impress by booking guests into places like voco St. David’s, which looks out across Cardiff Bay, Hilton Cardiff or Park Plaza Cardiff, all of which have upmarket facilities and rooms fit for VIPs.

Looking for a bit more character? The Royal Hotel, a Victorian building in the heart of the city centre, The Angel Hotel or The Exchange Hotel all bring a luxurious dose of history to stays and events. But if you just need somewhere to rest your head, you’ll find low-cost options like Premier Inn, ibis and Mercure across the city.

There’s a restaurant for every taste in Cardiff

As you’d expect to find in a big city, there are restaurants and cafés serving every kind of food in Cardiff. Impress clients by whisking them off to The Potted Pig for classic British dishes or stopping for seafood at art deco Le Monde Restaurant. If you’re looking for a laidback ambience and great food, grab a bite at Café Citta or Madame Fromage.

Fancy something a bit different? Visit The Clink Cymru for upmarket European fayre served by skilled chefs (who are also inmates at HMP Cardiff). Dinner here will taste good and do good. You’ll also discover plenty of fantastic coffee shops across the city, including 200 Degrees Coffee Shop, Quantum Coffee Roasters and Pettigrew Tea Rooms.

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Cardiff has meeting rooms for every occasion

Need a space for a meeting or workshop? Alexandra Gate, bright and airy Portland House or Kuku at Park Plaza are just three of the many options across the city. Elegant Cornerstone, a Grade II listed former chapel, will also make a fantastic setting for any event, from dinners to conferences.

But if you need plenty of space, go for Cardiff Met’s Conference Centre or the All Nations Centre, which can both accommodate hundreds of attendees with ease – even if you need more room than usual. You could even host a regal event in Cardiff Castle itself!

Cardiff has plenty of other facilities too

Time for some retail therapy? St David’s Dewi Sant Shopping Centre is packed with hundreds of top brands, including M&S, MAC, Paperchase, Debenhams, Primark and many more. You’ll also find delicious places to eat and drink, including Costa, Prezzo and Shake Shack, and even a cinema where you can catch the latest films. Alternatively, visit the Royal Arcade or Queens Arcade to find local traders and even more brands, or shop independent at The Bone Yard.

You’ll also have lots of options if you’re looking for a space to exercise. There’s everything from budget chains like The Gym and PureGym to upmarket facilities like David Lloyd and Novotel’s InBalance Wellness. And if you’re looking for something different, you’ll find plenty of independent fitness facilities across Cardiff too.

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Notable office tenants in Cardiff

  • Admiral Insurance
  • Atradius
  • Companies House
  • Peacocks
  • Football Association of Wales

Key agents

  • Knight Frank
  • Savills
  • Cushman & Wakefield
  • Fletcher Morgan Ltd
  • Emanuel Jones LLP

Offices, serviced offices and co-working spaces to rent in Cardiff

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Interesting facts about Cardiff

There are tree castles that still stand in Cardiff: 12th century Cardiff Castle, 16th century St Fagan’s Castle and Castell Coch Castle, which was built in the 11th century but rebuilt in the 17th.

The oldest record store in the world can be found in Cardiff. Spiller’s has been trading since 1894 and started off selling wax cylinders for phonographs.

Famed rum baron Captain Morgan was actually born in Cardiff in the 17th century, in an aptly named suburb called Llanrumney.

Cardiff has a secret network of underground tunnels that run beneath the city. Nobody’s quite sure why they were constructed, but they connect the docks and Cardiff Castle to other areas of Cardiff.

The first British news segment for TV was filmed in Cardiff in 1896. The landmark commemorated the opening of an extension to the city’s central library by the Prince and Princess of Wales.