12 March 2021/ Area guides

Office Leasing Guide: Middlesbrough

Offices to rent in Middlesbrough

Famous for its striking Transporter Bridge, which uses a suspended ‘gondola’ to take vehicles across the River Tees, Middlesbrough has long been known for its history of industrial activity. At the turn of the 19th century, the region was just an area of farmland home to around 25 people. It wasn’t until 1829, when a Quaker from Darlington bought the land with the intention of creating a port, that the town began to grow.

Industry in the area gradually increased as people travelled to take advantage of the coal and iron resources there. Between 1830 and 1890, the region’s population grew from 150 to almost 90,000. Over the years, Middlesbrough’s economy has developed through heavy industry, with a focus on steel and chemicals; and to this day, the port is still a hub of activity.

The town centre has also seen significant changes. A number of large parks have been created to provide peaceful retreats for residents, and, at one point, there were more than 100 pubs up and running.

More recently, Middlesbrough has benefitted from billions of pounds of investment into its infrastructure, creating thousands of new jobs, homes and business and educational facilities. The town’s residents study at Teesside University and Middlesbrough College, which has the Northern Skills Group, an apprenticeship scheme delivering more than 100 types of courses.

Today, you’ll find a thriving town combining industrial heritage and nearby natural scenery with a busy business sector and a healthy number of restaurants, pubs and independent shops. Middlesbrough has a population of around 140,000 but attracts over 700,000 regular visitors from Tees Valley, North Yorkshire and County Durham, who travel to the town for work and leisure.

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Key business areas in Middlesbrough

Thanks to huge investments across Middlesbrough, the town has been able to create several impressive business developments. The Boho Zone, made up of several ‘Boho’ buildings, is one of the region’s most notable commercial quarters. It serves as a hub for companies working in digital media, technology and creative sectors.

The two ‘hubs’ making up the Innovate Tees Valley University Enterprise Zone also provide resources for start-ups focussing on technology and digitalisation by nurturing university/business partnerships.

Across Tees Valley, there are seven Enterprise Zones - including the Historic Quarter in Middlesbrough town centre - which give tenants access to Business Rates relief and enhanced capital allowances.

Business clusters can also be found in Albert North, which has various offices, six food units and 10 apartments, and nearby Centre Square, a selection of new Grade A offices.

Travelling in Middlesbrough

A roads link Middlesbrough to nearby regions

Middlesbrough is well connected, with a number of A roads looping around the town. You can get to Darlington in under half an hour via the A66. Using the A19, drivers can also travel north-west to Durham in under 45 minutes or south to York in an hour. If you need to get to the capital, it’ll take around four and a half hours in light traffic.

Most Middlesbrough buses are run by Arriva North East or Stagecoach

Buses provide routes across the town, as well as to other nearby areas, including Stockton, Redcar and Hartlepool. For journeys further afield, National Express and Megabus coaches take passengers to various UK destinations from Middlesbrough Bus Station.

Trains travel from Middlesbrough Station in the town centre

Middlesbrough Station runs regular services to locations across the UK. Northern Railway can take you to areas including Darlington, Newcastle, Manchester and Whitby.

Meanwhile, the TransPennine Express is useful for travelling to places further away. You can get to York in an hour, Leeds in an hour and a half and Liverpool in around four hours. And, if you catch a connection in York, you should be able to travel to London in under four hours.

Teesside International is Middlesbrough’s nearest airport

It only takes 15 minutes to drive from the centre of Middlesbrough to Teesside International Airport, which offers flights to destinations across the world. You can also drive to Newcastle International Airport in an hour and Leeds Bradford in under an hour and a half.

Offices to let in Middlesbrough

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Business amenities in Middlesbrough

You’ll find a range of meeting rooms in Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough has several dedicated business meeting spaces, including Acklam Green Centre which has conferences spaces large enough to seat up to 200 people, as well as in-house catering packages. Nearby, The Resource Centre is just off the A66. It offers several large rooms to seat up to 90 guests, and a big kitchen, also available for hire.

Alternatively, for events involving fewer than 400 people, you could use one of the 17 convenient meeting rooms in Middlesbrough’s Jury's Inn. You can walk there from Middlesbrough Station in under 10 minutes.

Middlesbrough offers various affordable accommodation options

Low-cost accommodation is easy to find in the centre of Middlesbrough; there’s a Travelodge, a Premier Inn, a Jury’s Inn and a Holiday Inn Express. Plus, you can stay at the Hampton by Hilton Stockton on Tees if you’re based at Teesdale Business Area, as it’s situated directly opposite.

For a more rural stay, try the Sporting Lodge Middlesbrough, a 140-bedroom hotel surrounded by 20 acres of land. This relaxing accommodation option has several useful facilities, including a bar and grill and a leisure club with a 25-metre pool and fully equipped gym.

Middlesbrough’s restaurants are concentrated around Linthorpe Road

Most of the town’s eateries are located on this central road, which stretches north to south through Middlesbrough town centre. Popular favourites include the award-winning curry house Akbar's, which specialises in South Asian cuisine, and Uno Momento, an Italian restaurant with a homely feel.

Olivello Ristorante, and its on-site Harry’s Bar, is a great choice for meetings and socials. It serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner from its exciting open kitchen and seats 140 diners.

To the north of Middlesbrough in Captain Cook Square is W2 World Buffet; a useful option for relaxed gatherings. Chefs prepare a wide range of international dishes from live cooking stations, and set menu prices start from just £6.95 per person.

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There are plenty of other facilities to enjoy in Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough Leisure Park, just off the A66, offers a range of amenities, including restaurants and takeaways as well as a cinema, gym, pool and hair salon. There are also a good number of standalone gyms in Middlesbrough, including Lifestyle Fitness, which is open 24/7 and runs regular classes.

One of the town’s most impressive fitness facilities is Middlesbrough Sports Village, accessible via the A172. There, you’ll find a gym, children’s soft-play area and many other provisions, such as running tracks, sports pitches, a skate park and areas for athletics activities, including pole vaulting. There’s even a 250-metre velodrome.

Residents in the town can also enjoy the annual Middlesbrough Mela festival, which celebrates live music, food and crafts, attracting up to 40,000 guests.

Notable office tenants in Middlesbrough

  • Barker & Stonehouse
  • AXA
  • Pearson
  • Reed

Commercial estate agents in Middlesbrough

  • Dodds Brown
  • Parker Barras
  • Knight Frank
  • Clarke Munro
  • Connect Property

Offices, serviced buildings and co-working spaces in Middlesbrough

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Interesting facts about Middlesbrough 

As local councils have been created and abolished, Middlesbrough has undergone several name changes over the years, including Teesside, Tees Valley, Cleveland and North Yorkshire. The BBC summarises its confusing geographical status: Middlesbrough is in the council borough of Middlesbrough, the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire and the Tees Valley authority area”.

Middlesbrough has unsuccessfully applied to become officially recognised as a city no fewer than three times, in 2000, 2002 and 2012. Despite its legal status as a town, the mayor and some senior councillors have started referring to Middlesbrough as a city to help nurture growth.

Middlesbrough’s former residents include the musician Chris Rea, comedian Bob Mortimer, journalist Steph McGovern and ex-footballer Chris Kamara. Perhaps most famously, the explorer and cartographer Captain James Cook (1728-79) also came from an area now within the boundaries of Middlesbrough.