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Sector Resilience in Office Space Sector Resilience in Office Space

Regional UK Office Market: Sector Resilience

Patrick Scanlon • 14/06/2021
This research examines the resilience of key business sectors in the regional UK office space market and includes a UK Regional Risk Index.  

This Sector Resilience research examines and compares the exposure to risk for key business sectors, and the impact this risk will have on their decision-making process in relation to office space take-up in the UK regions.  

We weigh the exposure to sector risk in each of the UK’s largest regional cities to create a ranking, the UK Regional Risk Index. 

The research analyses the following industries: 

Financial ServicesManufacturing & EnergyProfessional Services, Flexible WorkspaceMediaInsurancePublic SectorLegalTech


Key findings

  • Office-using businesses are facing increasing risk from Brexit and COVID-19 related uncertainty
  •  There are a number of key business sectors that are less exposed to risk, or in other words, more resilient than others.
  • UK cities with less exposure to the riskier sectors may experience an earlier and stronger return of occupier demand post-COVID while those with increased exposure may take longer to return to pre-COVID levels.
  • Cities with dominant low-risk business sectors in the take-up profile could see a relatively early return of occupier demand. 


What are the business risks to the UK’s largest regional office markets?

Cushman & Wakefield identifies the current four risks prevalent across all office markets as: 

Sector Resilience Body Image

  1. Competition - The sensitivity to competition from disruptors, innovation, online rivals or overseas businesses.  
  2. Location - Sensitivity to cost-saving pressures of moving outside traditional geographic locations, either within the UK or to an overseas location. Brexit is a key example of this, as is the impact of working from home policies in response to the pandemic.  
  3. Regulation - Sensitivity to revenue loss from regulation and compliance challenges, either from within the UK or from overseas. Again, Brexit is a key example of this, impacting certain sectors more than others, such as Financial.  
  4. Economic - Sensitivity to changes in economic growth, either from normal cycle movements, or from other phenomena (e.g. COVID-19).  

Read the report to find out how each regional UK city and sector scored, and which we found were the most resilient. 


Ben Cullen - London
Ben Cullen

Head of Offices, UK
London, United Kingdom

+44 207 152 5024

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Charles Dady
Charles Dady

International Partner
Uxbridge, United Kingdom

+44 207 152 5273

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Scott Rutherford - Birmingham
Scott Rutherford

Birmingham, United Kingdom

+44 121 710 5785

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Greg Davidson
Greg Davison

Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

+44 191 223 5710

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James Thomson
James Thomson

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

+44 131 222 4545

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Jason Winfield
Jason Winfield

Head of Capital Markets, UK
London, United Kingdom

+44 207 152 5920

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Andrew Tyler- London
Andy Tyler

Head of London Office Leasing
London, United Kingdom

+44 207 152 5250

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James Meikle
James Meikle

Head of London Occupier Representation
London, United Kingdom

+44 203 296 4206

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