Throughout the pandemic, demand for industrial and logistics space has remained strong as businesses seek larger premises and warehouses to allow for social distancing and meet the demand of online retail sales. According to recent figures from SHW the availability and cost of commercial space in the Coastal West Sussex region is unrivalled locally, offering untapped potential for business and an advantage for the local economy.

The provision of industrial space in Coastal West Sussex has increased exponentially, more than doubling from 103,000 sq. ft in 2018 to 211,000 sq. ft in 2019. This is a greater increase than any other local region. By contrast, in Brighton and Hove industrial space has been reduced from 95,000 sq. ft to just 35,000 sq. ft in favour of residential developments.

The region is generally more affordable than surrounding areas with rents averaging at £10-11 per sq. ft for industrial space, compared to £18 in Brighton and Hove and £14 in Crawley. Office space is also cheaper at £14-17.50 per sq. ft, compared to £32 in Brighton and Hove and £23 in Crawley.

“We have seen a continued demand for warehouse and logistics space that has been uninterrupted in most regions. The surge of online retail and the introduction of social distancing has clearly contributed to this,” commented David Martin, Partner at SHW.

“In terms of the future of the office, we expect flexibility of occupation to become more commonplace, with enhanced services and bookable meeting and conference rooms. Businesses still consider it important to have a physical office, though the role of the office is definitely changing.”

Major national and international businesses such as The Body Shop in Littlehampton, Rolls Royce Motor Cars in Chichester, and Ricardo and Higgidy Pies, both in Shoreham, already call the region home.

“At a time when employers and employees in cities like London are questioning why they pay high rents to live and work in conditions that feel crowded, we feel there is a brilliant case for promoting our region. With the coastline and the South Downs, Coastal West Sussex offers a work/life balance that is hard to find elsewhere,” said Caroline Wood, Director of the Coastal West Sussex Partnership.