Market Insight

Weybridge: Surrey’s office hotspot, but what’s around the corner?

Situated just 17 miles southwest of central London, Weybridge is everything you’d expect from a leafy Surrey town where parks, golf clubs and private gated communities such as St. George’s Hill are a firm staple.
July 11, 2022
What the town is perhaps less well known for, is its appeal as a business location. Yet over the last 18 months, we’ve transacted on over 100,000 sq ft of office deals for occupiers and landlords here.

So why is Weybridge such a sought-after office location? We spoke to Surrey agency expert, Steve New, to find out.

Over the last three years, office activity has steadily increased in Weybridge from a variety of sectors, with major deals completed for Wilmott Dixon, Astellas Pharma and Page Group – to name but a few.

Unlike other towns in the area, Weybridge’s office market is centred primarily out of town as business park locations with good access to the M25, attract major corporates from Samsung and Sony to P&G and Paige Group.

As business emerge from the pandemic, they have reconsidered their future office needs with quality and amenity rich office space in mind, to offer more lifestyle benefits for their workforces – an important factor amid the continued war for talent.

This is where Weybridge has been able to excel, with business parks, particularly those under single ownership, creating a unique offer for occupiers, whilst benefitting from fantastic access to transport infrastructure.

Business Park Options

The Heights at Brooklands boasts high-quality office space across five buildings.

Here, occupiers including Samsung, Alliance Healthcare, AXA and more recently serviced office specialists Yoooserv, benefit from close access to the train station, and by extension, London, as well as recently refurbished, amenity-rich space. We are pleased to be marketing 18,000 sq ft of office space here currently, at Optical 7. 

Facilities including bar / social space and the all-important collaboration space necessary for teams to innovate, as well as a gym and year-round calendar of events and sports activities on-site, create a compelling argument for the potential occupier.

Following their acquisition of The Heights in 2019, Kennedy Wilson were wise to invest in a comprehensive refurbishment programme, enabling them to answer to the flight to quality that was being seen in the occupier market. Meanwhile, Bourne Business Park is another location which has experienced a surge in lettings, where we have recently acted for Paige Group who have chosen to remain there taking 7,500 sq ft, thanks to the quality of office space and amenities such as onsite café and gym on offer.

Steve New, Partner, Vail Williams.

What can you expect to pay?

There is approximately 244,000 sq ft of quality office space available in and around Weybridge.

However, oven-ready Grade A office space is dwindling, leading some occupiers to leave the town including global leader in customer engagement, Verint, who recently moved out to Woking. Weybridge Business Park was recently sold for redevelopment into an industrial / logistics hub, removing great swathes of office space from the market.

This, together with the continued loss of office space to residential under permitted development rights, is increasing rents. You can expect to pay between £35.50-£36.00 psf, with rents pushing north of this at locations such as The Heights.

Despite this, Weybridge still represents a competitive alternative to more expensive surrounding towns such as Staines and Windsor which have experienced record office rents in recent months.

Grey space set to deliver new supply

With little to no new office development in the pipeline, we need to see more supply come to market to meet rising demand.

We expect much of this to come via the return of grey space or tenant space to the market over the next 12 months.

Grey space is office space which has become surplus to requirement for the original tenant, but where the lease is yet to expire, in some instances for many years.

Having spent the last 12 months fully understanding how their employees will use their office space, some businesses are now concluding that they have too much space.

A good example of this is Astellas Pharmaceuticals who, having taken circa 58,000 sq ft at buildings 200 & 300 Bourne Business Park in 2019, have chosen to market the space as they embrace their new workplace strategy.

And they are not alone.

As businesses reassess their future office needs and examine their leases to explore the potential of sub-letting space, we predict that more such space will come to market over the coming months. Indeed, we are currently marketing 7,732 sq ft of such space on behalf of Knights plc at Bourne Business Park.

This represents a good opportunity for businesses seeking to locate to Weybridge, who will now benefit from more choice of Grade A space in the market, at competitive rates.

Of course, when it comes to sub-letting or leasing of grey space, it is important for occupiers and landlords to get representation and carefully assess their office needs and the flexibility around the agreement they are entering.

Investing for a better return

Amid such strong demand and the lack critical office mass within its town centre, landlords / investors of office assets in Weybridge would be wise to invest in refurbishing their office assets.

This would enable them to deliver a high-quality sought-after product to market, boasting leading ESG and energy efficiency credentials, whilst providing a good range of amenities. It is what we know occupiers want and has enabled us to complete over 100,000 sq ft of transactions in this market over the last 12 months.

Beyond its reputation as a stunning, leafy Surrey town, boasting green space and stunning eateries, Weybridge has a great deal more to offer – particularly for the astute office occupier and landlord / investor.

So, whether you are seeking to deliver a quality office investment to market in Weybridge, or you are an occupier seeking to lease or sub-let space here, our team of six Surrey-based commercial property agents can help. Get in touch for more information.