Market Insight

Bracknell doubles office take up as market momentum returns

November 1, 2023
Office take-up looks set to reach some heady highs in Bracknell this year, as momentum finally returns to the office market in the Berkshire town.  Wedged between the M3 and M4, Bracknell is coming into a league of its own, according to office agent and Vail Wiliams Associate, Andrew Baillie.

To date this year, total take-up for the town, which has historically sat in the shadow of Reading in office terms, has exceeded 112,321 sq ft of – a large proportion of which has been for fully fitted Grade A space

Against the backdrop of around 100,000 sq ft of deals in Reading this year to date and having acted on over 50% of the office deals in Bracknell this year, we explore what the lure is of this Greater London town and why are we seeing so much activity all of a sudden.

Scholl, Nielsen Media Research, Tempestas Capital, Chartered Institute of Builders, Allium UK, Basis Technology, Curve Workplaces, Brickability, Evelyn Partners. These are just a few of the names of businesses doing office deals in Bracknell this year.

But why are these businesses committing to offices in Bracknell and not elsewhere?

Return to the office

Of course, the return to the office has a role to play, with 72% of companies globally mandating a return to the office, three or four days a week.

With this has come a complete re-think about what businesses need from their office space and where their base is best located.

A more footloose approach by occupiers has led many to take new leases in different geographical locations or in buildings offering a better standard and quality of space, with a blend of amenities and break out spaces.

Thankfully for Bracknell, this is something that the town boasts in abundance, as investors have been quick to react to occupier demand for Grade A quality, fully-fitted and furnished office space.

Abrdn, the owners of One Station Square (pictured right) in the centre of Bracknell, is one such example.

Offering the coveted ‘plug and play’ space for tenants, the building provides a broad range of floorplates spanning 1,700 sq ft to 10,864 sq ft. Aside from its central location and quality fit out, tenants also benefit from a range of new facilities, including new showers, WCs and a parking ratio of 1:190 sq ft.

Matthew Ody at Abrdn, who are landlords at One Station Square in the town, commented:

“We understood that the majority of businesses returning to the workplace after the pandemic wanted high-quality fully-fitted, flexible options, so have invested heavily at One Station Square in providing plug and play solutions.

“We have seen the positive results of this investment having secured Nielsen Media Research earlier this year taking a fully fitted 5,500 sq ft suite on the fourth floor.”

A significant refurbishment project at 1 Arlington Square has also delivered high quality and amenity rich space boasting a fantastic atrium and café which has pushed rents on significantly, attracting the attention of footcare brand, Scholl, Basis Technology and Tempestas Capital.

Meanwhile, we acted on three deals for the landlord, spanning over 7,500 sq ft at landmark office building, The Lightbox – one of which secured the expansion of Curve Workplaces who, as specialists in the design and delivery of first-class working environments, are no strangers to the concept of the flight to office quality.

Explaining why they expanded in the building taking 3,436 sq ft, Michael Potter, Managing Director at Curve Workplaces, said:

“There were three reasons for our expansion at The LightBox. The first was the growth of our core business, Curve Workplaces, secondly, the successful start-up of Forum Lighting, and finally, a desire to create a better environment for the team.

“Whilst our team has been back at the office since the pandemic – through choice rather than edict – we needed to ensure that the office was conducive to all types of team and individual work.

“The commercial approach of our landlord together with their agency team, Vail Williams, enabled us to re-negotiate terms outside of a lease event to ensure a workplace fit for the future. Suffice it to say, our fit out was designed and built by Curve Workplaces, with furniture supplied by Furniture Forum and lighting by Forum Lighting!”

Meanwhile, newly refurbished 3 Arlington Square is also flourishing and has welcomed the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) who took 5,683 sq ft.

So why is Bracknell expriencing such a revival?

It is a cost-effective location in rental terms, with rents sitting between £25.00 and £34.50 psf, and certainly one of the deals this year was for a business locating out of Richmond looking for value.

Bracknell also boasts excellent transport infrastructure, with London just a stone’s throw away on the train. But it’s much more than that.

The Lexicon, the main retail and leisure centre in Bracknell, has done wonders for the town. Acquired by Schroders, who completely re-developed it to offer indoor and outdoor shopping areas alongside entertainment and leisure facilities, it has transformed the town, and has made it a much more attractive destination – not just for businesses to locate to, but for existing occupiers to re-commit to.

Indeed, 94% of the deals completed this year have been businesses already based in the town, who have committed to staying here for the next three to five years.

And there’s a real breadth of occupier types too – from education and building design, to healthcare, tech, and TMT.


It would seem that there’s something for everyone. Of the 5.3m sq ft of office market stock, there is a supply of around 286,500 sq ft of Grade A space available.

If you are looking for a more cost-effective space, there is plenty of choice of Grade B space in the market (201,000 sq ft), as well as an ever-increasing amount of grey space (tenant release space) coming to the market.

Overall vacancy levels currently sit at 9.1% with a provision of 3.25 years of stock levels. So, if you have a lease event coming up, or you are seeking to move offices to a better quality and better value space, then Bracknell offers this in spades. However, it is best to act sooner rather than later, before the best space is taken up.

Meanwhile, for prudent investors with looking for good returns and faster leasing velocity, now could be the time to make the most of bolshy Bracknell, which continues to punch above its office market weight.

For help and support with your Bracknell office requirements, or to secure occupiers for your Bracknell office building, get in touch.