25 February 2021/ Area guides

Office leasing guide: Norwich

Offices to rent in Norwich

Norwich has a rich history dating back to the Iron Age, when the Celtic queen Boudicca fought the Romans. Then, Saxons gathered in the city’s ‘Tombland’ – now the marketplace – the Danes arrived in the region in 869AD and the Normans constructed the cathedral following the 1066 conquest.

As a result of Norwich’s ancestry, one of the city’s most striking features is its impressive variety of architectural styles, allowing for an interesting array of commercial properties. In Medieval times, Norwich was the UK’s second city, and a number of buildings from the period still remain, alongside opulent Victorian and art deco structures. 

Today, the city offers a diverse yet affordable range of commercial buildings, as it’s 45% cheaper to run a business in Norwich than in London or Cambridge.

The city combines its medieval heritage with a thriving business district, ground-breaking scientific innovation and bustling social scene. And, as the only city in England to be located in a National Park, Norwich offers access to beautiful scenery and wildlife too.

With the Norfolk Broads and its 125 miles of lock-free waterways within easy reach, Norwich residents can escape the city noise whenever they feel like it. Meanwhile, an extensive road and transport network provides easy access to neighbouring towns and cities.

The region has plenty to offer, whether you’re ready to get productive in the office, meet colleagues for a meal out or just take in the local sights.

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Notable business areas in Norwich

Norwich has a dedicated Business District, which stretches along Queens Road and reaches up to the bottom of Red Lion Street in the city centre. Cutting-edge businesses sit alongside historic sites, food shops and retail outlets, providing a rich cultural scene for workers in the area.

Broadland Business Park is also a hotspot for growing companies, including Aviva, NHS Norfolk, BT and Yodel. It’s situated to the east of the city, just off the A1042, with great access to the road network linking Norwich to Cambridge and other nearby regions.

For science-sector businesses, Norwich Research Park is the place to be. Roughly 30,000 people work there, including 3,000 scientists and clinicians, conducting world-leading research into plant and microbial sciences and interdisciplinary environmental science. It’s based to the west of the city, near Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Getting around in Norwich

Much of Norwich is pedestrianised

Thanks to the city’s medieval architecture, many of the routes through the city are pedestrianised, so it’s easy to dash to your destination or take a leisurely stroll at lunch.

A network of A roads connects Norwich to nearby cities

Although Norwich is tucked into an eastern pocket of England, its extensive road networks allow for easy drives to neighbouring regions. The main roads include the A47, A11, A140 and A146, and you can drive to London or Birmingham in under three hours, or Cambridge in an hour and a half.

Trains get you to London in under two hours

Norwich Station is conveniently located just a 10-minute walk away from the city centre. Every hour, Greateranglia trains offer direct routes to London through Ipswich, Colchester and Chelmsford. But you can also catch direct services to Cambridge, Peterborough, Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool.

Norwich is serviced by several bus and coach companies

Bus travellers in Norwich can catch services to destinations across the city with First, Konectbus, Sanders and Simonds, as well as the Park and Ride. There’s also the option to take coaches to nearby cities; it’ll take less than two and a half hours to get to London, and tickets sell for as little as £5.

Norwich International Airport is just a 15-minute drive away

The city’s closest airport is just 15 minutes away by car, and offers flights to hundreds of destinations across the UK and Europe. But if it doesn’t get you to where you want to go, it only takes a couple of hours to reach the airports in Stansted, Southend and Luton.

Offices to let in Norwich

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Business amenities in Norwich

Norwich has lots of high-quality meeting rooms

If you need to book a room for an important business meeting – or an informal get-together – you’ll be spoilt for choice in Norwich. One of the most popular meeting places is The King’s Centre, right in the middle of the city. It can cater to groups of five people, all the way up to huge events with 650 attendees, and has an on-site café.

A little further out, on Roundtree Way, there’s The Space, which claims to be the city’s best conference centre for business events. It’s suitable for meetings of all sizes, and there are refreshments on offer too.

For a more luxurious event, you could opt for No.8 on Thorpe Road, just off the A147. It offers everything from meeting rooms to hot desks, table rental and even reception services. Plus, it has a team of fully-trained, in-house staff to whip up delicious meals for guests.

Norwich has hotels of all styles

You’ll find lots of suitable hotels for business stays in the centre of Norwich – and many are in historic, characterful properties. For Georgian luxury and peaceful gardens, try The Assembly House next to the Theatre Royal or the Best Western Annesley House Hotel just slightly further out.

Architecture buffs will appreciate Maids Head in the Cathedral Quarter; it’s said to be the UK’s oldest hotel with an 800-year history. And there’s a Holiday Inn close to the centre too, offering views of the football stadium, free Wi-Fi and a small gym.

Norwich restaurants serve up tasty food for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Start the day with a pastry from artisan bakery Bread Source or brunch at The Cosy Club, which serves everything from pancakes and salads to full English breakfasts and burgers. For business meetings and work socials alike, Thai restaurant Giggling Squid and sophisticated eatery The Ivy are ideal. COSMO’s diverse ‘world buffet’ is also a great choice for informal gatherings; you can get lunch from £7.99 and dinner from £13.99.

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Other amenities in Norwich

Norwich is home to two shopping malls, Chantry Place and Castle Quarter, as well as many prominent stores, including Marks & Spencer and John Lewis in the city centre. There are also clusters of independent retailers in Magdalen Street, Norwich Lanes and the Cathedral Quarter, where you can get your hands on vintage items and collectables.

Across the city, you’ll find fitness facilities to suit a wide range of different requirements. In the centre, Phoenix Gym offers over 215 work stations, while Complete Fitness has zoned areas for cardio, weights and classes. For fun bootcamp-style workouts, try The Norwich Fitness Academy to the west of the city.

There’s also a Nuffield Health centre, a David Lloyd facility and three PureGym locations in Norwich.

Notable office tenants in Norwich

  • Aviva
  • PwC
  • KPMG
  • BT Local Business
  • Environment Agency

Key agents in Norwich

  • Brown&Co
  • Arnolds Keys
  • Humberts
  • JLL Norwich
  • Bidwells

Offices, serviced offices and co-working spaces in Norwich

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Interesting facts about Norwich

  • There is a total of 31 Medieval churches in Norwich, which demonstrates the rich architectural history of the city. In fact, you can find stone carvings on the cathedral, Victorian George Skipper terracotta on the Jarrold department store, and 22 metal posts with decorative, location-specific finials throughout Norwich Lanes.
  • Norwich was the first place in England to become a UNESCO City of Literature. The region is home to England’s only National Centre for Writing, which hosts numerous festivals and events. And the University of East Anglia (UEA) was the first educational institution to offer a creative writing master’s degree. Its graduates include Ian McEwan, Anne Enwright and Kazuo Ishiguro.
  • Norwich has the fourth highest density of pubs of any UK city, with 10 per square mile.