6 Reasons Brentford is a Great Place to Work
Brentford is an enterprising corner of West London that’s renowned for its corporate headquarters and big business attitude. Home to blue chip giants including GlaxoSmithKline, BskyB and Allianz, Brentford’s skyline is dominated by glass-clad corporate office buildings.
Yet, you don’t need to be a FTSE company to relocate to Brentford. UBC has operated serviced offices at landmark office building The Mille since 2012, providing serviced offices to startups and small businesses. In 2018, our business centre will be re-launched with the addition of coworking space, offering even more flexibility for SMEs seeking a professional home amongst Brentford’s corporate giants.
Ahead of our grand unveiling, we’re taking a deep-dive into Brentford to reveal its key benefits as a flexible workplace location, and what this enterprising part of Greater London has to offer the SME community:
1. Heart of the Action
Brentford is part of Greater London’s Hounslow borough, a historic town situated at the confluence of the River Brent and the Thames that’s highly accessible by road, rail and air. It’s based at the meeting point between the M4 and Great West Road (A4) and within 7 miles of Heathrow Airport. Brentford has its own mainline station and is close to a number of underground stations on the Piccadilly line, including Boston Manor, Northfields and South Ealing.
2. Steeped in History
Brentford has a long and fascinating history. Would you believe that the original settlement of Brentford actually pre-dates the founding of London? It was around before the Roman occupation of Britain in an area known as ‘Old England’, and was thought to be an important meeting point for pre-Romanic tribes. Much has been written and documented about Brentford’s history, with local artefacts discovered dating back to the Stone Age.
3. A Business Powerhouse
Brentford has come a long way since its Stone Age roots. Today, it’s a powerhouse of innovation. In Hounslow, which is home to around 12,500 businesses, three key sectors are driving economic growth: media and broadcasting, ICT and digital, and transport and logistics.
According to the Mayor of London’s business growth programme, Hounslow has the highest concentration of media and broadcasting jobs in London (as a percentage of total employee jobs in the borough), whilst the number of businesses in ICT and digital grew 51% between 2011 and 2014.
“Hounslow has a long heritage as a home to large global corporations. Approximately 100 companies employ more than 250 people, which is larger than the London average. But it is also highly entrepreneurial: 16.3% of the residents are self-employed, compared to the national average of just over 10%. Micro-businesses are booming and are just as vital for driving growth - Hounslow’s number of companies employing five or fewer people grew by 23% between 2001 to 2014.
"From the growing cluster of small, specialist digital and media companies to the cafes and boat repair yards on Brentford waterside, the enterprise economy in Hounslow is vibrant.”
What’s more, Hounslow has reached the shortlist in its bid to become one of London’s first Creative Enterprise Zones. This is a new initiative by the Mayor of London to help creative firms “put down roots, establish themselves in local areas, attract new artists and creative businesses, and develop skills in local people.”
4. Development Hotspot
The Great West Road runs from Central London to Avonmouth near Bristol, and the ‘Golden Mile’ stretch which crosses through Hounslow - home to UBC’s serviced offices at The Mille - has been earmarked for massive development. In the London Borough of Hounslow’s Local Plan Review for the Great West Corridor (October 2017), Council Leader Steve Curran set out the council’s vision:
“...the Plan provides a comprehensive place-making approach to the area, and seeks to provide opportunities for increased business location amongst a range of commercial sectors and thus the potential for more high-quality jobs ... It seeks to improve the vibrancy and vitality of the area through introducing additional land uses other than business such as housing, retail and leisure uses, and to plan and ‘knit’ the area together to create a much more functional place.”
Crucially, this Plan is set to make a positive impact on Brentford’s Golden Mile. In total, around 200 companies employ around 25,000 people along this stretch, and the council’s ambitious new vision is set to develop “more opportunities for development along the whole corridor from Heathrow to Central London, making a ‘Golden Highway’ fit for twenty first century business needs.”
5. Investing in Young Entrepreneurs
Just behind The Mille is the University of West London, which boasts the impressive statistic of helping over 97% of graduates get into employment or further study within six months of graduation.
The University has invested over £50 million in a new campus with modern facilities to improve students’ learning and social experience, as part of a wider £150 million facilities upgrade. Work is also underway on the Westmont Enterprise Hub, which will enable students to collaborate with local businesses. Executive Director Stephen Fry, who is also CEO at Hounslow Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Board at Hounslow Economic Business Forum, has a keen focus on local business matters and creating opportunities for Brentford organisations and UWL graduates to collaborate.
6. Lifestyle Focus
Brentford is surrounded by leisure and lifestyle amenities. UBC’s workspace at The Mille is a short walk from Boston Manor Park and its namesake, Boston Manor House - a Jacobean manor house built in 1623. The park sits alongside the winding River Brent and is a popular place for walking, picnics, and even the odd game of tennis or basketball.
Slightly further afield but only a short drive from The Mille is the world-famous Kew Gardens - a collection of beautiful botanical gardens and attractions. Kew is home to varied wildlife, a huge Victorian glasshouse, a treetop walkway, an arboretum with over 14,000 trees, a 50m high Great Pagoda, and endless walkways that wind around its stunning collection of gardens. It’s hard to believe this leafy oasis is just 30 minutes from Central London.
Now that you’re a little more acquainted with all that Brentford has to offer, why not visit us at The Mille? You’ll find two floors of beautifully refurbished flexible workspace in a friendly yet professional environment in the heart of Brentford’s high-powered commercial district. Contact us to schedule a tour or pop in anytime.