11 March 2021/ Area guides

Office leasing guide: Southend-on-Sea

Offices to rent in Southend-on-Sea

Southend-on-Sea is a well-known seaside town situated on the north side of the Thames Estuary, less than an hour from London. It has a rich history dating back to the 7th Century, when the Saxons first settled at the village of Prittlewell.

During the 19th century, its status as a much-loved seaside resort grew with the construction of the Southend Pier and the development of a railway system. From the 1960s onwards, the town developed into a bustling commerce and retail hub, establishing itself as home of the Access credit card, due to it having one of the UK's first electronic telephone exchanges. Today, Southend-On-Sea is a place of growth, innovation and regeneration, attracting major investments for the borough, including a £500 million investment in the Better Queensway transformation.

If you’re looking for commercial property to rent or buy, Southend-on-Sea is an excellent place to base your business. There are some fantastic office spaces in the centre of Southend, and property prices are significantly more affordable than in London. The area also boasts a large, diverse and highly skilled workforce, and is home to two colleges, a university campus and some of the top performing schools in the country. By 2022, Southend-on-Sea will be one of the UK’s first ‘Gigabit Cities’, with many businesses in the area already benefitting from gigabit speed Internet services that are transforming their digital capabilities.

In addition to being a great place to do business, Southend-on-Sea is also a wonderful place to live, boasting seven miles of gorgeous coastline and over 80 pristine parks and green spaces. The town has three theatres, internationally acclaimed cultural heritage collections, art galleries, numerous retail outlets for you to shop till you drop, and the world’s longest pleasure pier.

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Notable business areas in Southend-on-Sea

The £150m Southend Airport Business Park is a world-class, multi-use business park being developed just minutes from London Southend Airport and Southend Airport rail station. The business park will offer flexible business space, large-scale industrial and warehousing facilities, along with a hotel and a centre for innovation dedicated to championing the growth of start-ups and small businesses in the area.

Offices, serviced offices and co-working spaces in Southend-on-Sea

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Getting around Southend-on-Sea

You can get to London by train in an hour

Southend-on-Sea is only an hour’s direct train journey from central London. Add to that its own airport plus a busy and well-connected bus network and it's easy to see why the area is such a hub for business and travel.

The historic Southend Victoria Train Station was opened in 1889 and is one of two main stations for the town. It is operated by Abellio Greater Anglia, which runs trains to and from Liverpool Street via Prittlewell. The town's other main station is Southend Central, operated by C2C. It's even older than Southend Victoria station, dating back to 1856. This line also travels to Basildon and Barking.

Travelling around Southend-on-Sea by road

If you’re travelling by car, Southend is served by two main ‘A’ roads. The A127 Southend Arterial Road is a dual-carriageway all the way and connects well with the A12 (Chelmsford) and A128 (Brentwood). The A13 London Road is a dual-carriageway from the M25 until just past Basildon. Both the A127 and A13 connect with the M25 motorway, and both of these roads run from East London into the centre of Southend.

Several bus companies operate in Southend-on-Sea

Southend Victoria Station also has a busy bus interchange operated by Arriva routes taking passengers around Southend-on-Sea and to nearby towns, such as Hadleigh, Rayleigh and Rochford, as well as shopping locations and leisure attractions.

All buses also run to Southend Travel Centre, which is close to the Royals Shopping Centre and not far from Southend Central station. From the travel centre, you're within easy walking distance of the seafront, Southend Pier, Adventure Island and the high street shops, with the Victoria Shopping Centre and Odeon cinema at the far end of the High Street.

London Southend Airport is easily accessible from Southend-on-Sea

The recent development of London Southend Airport has made this beautiful stretch of Essex coastline more accessible than ever before. Operators include easyJet, Flybe and Loganair, offering direct flights to Amsterdam, Barcelona and Prague, as well as domestic services connecting Southend to Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin.

Getting to and from the airport is easy. The airport is well connected to Southend via the C30 coach service and bus routes 7, 8 and 9. Although, the fastest and easiest way to arrive at the airport is by train. At peak times, up to eight services arrive every hour at the purpose-built station, which is just a two-minute walk from the terminal.

Southend-on-Sea is a bike friendly town

A popular way to commute in Southend is by bike. The town has invested in well-equipped kiosks located around the city offering cycle routes and up-to-date travel information including train times and maps for cycling around the city or seafront. 

There are excellent business amenities in and around Southend-on-Sea

The town has many popular hotels for every budget

Whether you're traveling for business or going on vacation, there are many popular hotels to choose in Southend-on-Sea. Value for money choices include the Holiday Inn Southend, which is conveniently located just one minute from the Southend Airport as well as the Travelodge Hotel, which is closer to the centre of town.

More upmarket options include the Roslin Beach Hotel, which offers spectacular, panoramic views across the bay as well as what is arguably the best high tea in town. Art lovers will enjoy a stay at The Seven Hotel, a luxurious yet understated boutique hotel whose contemporary but timeless interior design was conceived by award-winning designer, Adam Tibbatts.

There’s also the Park Inn by Radisson Palace, which includes a fabulous casino, fitness centre, and seven meeting rooms suitable for a variety of business events, social functions, and weddings.

Southend-on-Sea has restaurants to satisfy every taste and budget

If you’re looking to have a casual drink after work with your colleagues or if you’re planning to impress a client, Southend really does have something to satisfy every taste and budget.

Along with the well-known and much-loved seafood and Italian spots like The Osborne Brothers and Piccolo, there’s also an ascendant vegan scene offering delicious plant-based fare.

The Oak Tree serves up a whole menu of plant-based takes on beloved gastro-pub classics. And The Railway Hotel not only serves up 100% plant-based meals using sustainable and locally-sourced ingredients but is also known for being the spiritual home of Southend’s artistic and cultural scene.

For a fine-dining experience you can indulge in a five-star meal at The Aurum. This snazzy, in-house restaurant has a menu filled with creative dishes penned by well-known London Chef, Simon Webb. And if you’re looking for a great spot for informal gatherings or a well-deserved pint after a long day at the office, you can head over to The Olde Trout Tavern for a pint of their house ‘Trout Ale,’ brewed especially for the pub. 

Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 19.26.46Southend-on-Sea has excellent meeting spaces for every kind of event

There are a number of welcoming rooms and spaces available in Southend-on-Sea for meetings, training, conferences and other social and business events. One of the most popular meeting places for hire is The Hive Enterprise Centre conveniently located in central Southend. As well as flexible workspace and serviced offices, The Hive offers meeting and conference space catering for up to 75 people. All meeting rooms are available to rent on an hourly, half-day or full-day basis.

Also located in the town centre is The Forum, bringing a state-of-the-art library to the heart of Southend as well as two meeting rooms that can hold up to 40 people. The Forum is home to the Focal Point Gallery, a new café and lecture theatre, and has become an integral part of the town centre, assisting in its re-generation. The Tickfield and Civic Centre sites also offer bright and modern meeting rooms perfect for business meetings, workshops, interviews and private appointments, exhibitions, functions and conferences.

Offices, serviced offices and co-working spaces in Southend-on-Sea

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There is lots to see and do in Southend-on-Sea

With seven miles of glorious coastline, there is no shortage of outdoor activities like swimming, windsurfing, sailing and kite surfing to keep you busy. The town combines sought-after coastal living with access to world-class sports and leisure facilities including the London 2012 mountain biking track near Hadleigh Country Park.

Although the area has experienced strong growth and development over recent years, Southend-on-Sea has retained a strong commitment to the preservation of nature and the environment. With five internationally designated sites for nature conservation and 600 hectares of parks and open spaces, Southend-on-Sea offers woodland, marshes, cliffs, meadows, rivers and glorious coastal scenery for those looking for a breath of fresh air.

Notable tenants

  • Goldwyns
  • Essex Chambers of Commerce
  • ZAPTAX LTD
  • Oracle
  • Mark Steel Fabrications
  • The Web Design Company
  • RBS Group

Key agents in Southend-on-Sea

  • Dedman Gray Property Consultants Ltd
  • Avison Young
  • Sorrell
  • Ayers & Cruiks

Interesting facts about Southend-on-Sea

  • Southend Pier is the world’s longest iron pleasure pier, at 2.158km long, which is just over a mile.
  • In May 1915, Southend was a one of the first air raid victims of the First World War.
  • It’s officially the warmest and driest place in the UK.
  • Parts of the town, including the route to the airport, were featured in the 1964 James Bond film, Goldfinger.
  • The Pier was taken over by the Navy during World War Two to act as a departure point for convoys.
  • Buddy Greco, a former member of the Rat Pack, once famously said that Southend is the best place he has ever lived.